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Shifting Our Focus

By Don Loftis | 07.12.17

Genesis 5 heralds the great story of a man named Enoch.  Apparently, he walked so closely with God that the Lord took him on to heaven.  Hebrews 11:5 says “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up, for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.”


We certainly interpret this story in positive ways.  Enoch  was praised for his righteousness and escaped the pain typically associated with dying.  Like the apostle Paul thousands of years later, “it was very much better” to go be with the Lord.


I know all of that is true, but I wonder what his family felt?  I wonder what the community where he lived thought?  Based on our life expectancies, Enoch was only about 34 years old.  Grief was as real in the book of Genesis as it is today.


When a loved one who is in Christ dies, we experience mixed emotions.  We may experience anger, sorrow, anxiety as well as joy.  Paul told the Thessalonian Christians (4:13-18) not to sorrow as those who do not share a hope in Christ.  Christians do not deny their losses or the sorrows associated with them, but we do interpret them with a focus on Jesus — a focus that is on an eternal hope.


As we move through the grief process, we will come to sense the great gain our loved ones have experienced in faithfully finishing their earthly race.  Remember, the goal is to go to heaven, not to see how much social security we can receive or how many grandchildren we have.



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