Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 – To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. (KJV)
It is a blessing to be able to share life's journey with someone, and an exceptional blessing to share the journey when life begins or ends. There is, perhaps, no greater opportunity to appreciate life and all it offers us than when we can see it and share it through the eyes of someone who is seeing things for the first or last time. For a person to be able to do both within a short space of time is perhaps one of the most rare and special gifts we can be given.
As a Hospice volunteer I have been given the honour and privilege of sharing the last months, weeks, and days of life's journey with many people. This June, I was given perhaps one of God's greatest gifts, and felt as if I had been placed right in the circle of life. Filling in for a co-volunteer, I had the honour of sharing a week with a terminally ill person, and then was blessed to be able to share in the time of labour and the birth of our beautiful granddaughter.
Our journeys leaving and entering this life are very similar; they can be long and/or difficult; quick, or eased. We can leave or enter either in or out of pain, crying or peaceful.
Our births and deaths may be in sterile, crude, or special surroundings. We may or may not be accompanied by loved ones. We must trust that God is with us as we begin and end life's journey, no matter what the circumstances. And we must also trust that He places people in our presence whom He determines should be there.
To be blessed with the opportunity to experience both ends of the spectrum of life's journey is one of the most profound spiritual experiences we can be given.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank you for life's journeys, for our coming in and our going out. Bless those who are with us in our entering and leaving, and those who give us the honour of being with them through their journey of birth or death. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.