The Crisis of Death

One of my church friends died this week. The former pastor of our congregation, he and his wife settled comfortably into a pew and allowed future pastors to minister to him. Such arrangements often don’t work, but this one did. In 1998, he encouraged me to teach in a small Bible college in Ukraine. For the next four years I made a trip to a neighboring country to continue my ministry of teaching counseling to future pastors. Those two-week experiences represent a highlight of my life’s ministry.

I heard from one of my former students this week. We’ve become friends on Facebook. Because of, we can communicate in Russian. The program translates from English to many other languages and vice versa. This young pastor told me he’s using the principles of counseling I shared in class in his ministry. That encouraged me greatly – my influence for the Gospel lives on

Death is a crisis. Everything we’ve lived for, we must give up. Everything we’ve worked for, we will to others. The longer I live, the more the reality of death confronts me. “That’s what we’re all working so hard for, isn’t it,” said a neighbor who works in Hospice, “to die?” True, but our influence lives on.

Little did my pastor friend know of the impact of that little connection he helped make between me and my student. Although in death we give up our individual life, we’ve made thousands of connections, so that our legacy for Christ lives on.

About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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One Response to The Crisis of Death

  1. Marie says:

    Very nice article. It reminded me of a movie I watched recently, “Pay It Forward.”

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