It is widely believed to be Benjamin Franklin who said: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” So, it’s January, and once again I’m faced with both. Just this week, I received my annual tax email from our accountant to say it’s time to get things together, and I went to my aunt’s funeral. As much as you want to run away from both, they just keep coming around.
What’s a soul to do? When it comes to taxes, we should not only “give to Caesar…” but be prepared. Knowing that tax season comes at the same time every year, and one has to do basically the same thing each time to fill out the forms, I have found that I make the task much less stressful if I organize my receipts and information throughout the course of the year. Does it make it any more pleasant? Not really, but at least it’s easier to swallow and endure.
And death? Does it relate at all to that of taxes? It sounds funny to say, but death is a part of life. While we may try to avoid it, we cannot. Unlike tax season, however; death does not make an appointment. There is no opportune time for death — ours or anyone else’s. Can a person truly be prepared for such a traumatic event?
Unlike the sting of having to pay taxes, that of death can cut so much deeper — but it doesn’t have to, not for the believer in Christ at least. The Apostle Paul tells us the secret…or mystery: “We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed”. That knowledge, in and of itself brings a wonderful sense of peace. “Where, O death, is your victory?”, Paul continues. “Where, O death, is your sting?”
What makes death keep its sting, is sin. Those rejecting Christ and choosing to continue in sin feel the sting of death — I’ve seen it. I agree with Paul and say,”But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Will I have to face the loss of yet another loved one in the days ahead — most likely. Am I prepared to face the reality of death in my world? Only by the grace of God. Are you ready? Don’t let death leave its stinger in your life; get the antidote in Christ! Taxes? Well, just be prepared.
Grace and Peace