I Was Just Thinking About - LIFE AND DEATH
There are times when one is confronted with the reality of life and death issues that have a horrible ring of hopeless and despair for the one hearing the grim words, especially about the imminence of death. These issues should not actually surprise us even though there is the innate to live as quality of a life as possible, and equally as free from pain and maladies. There are times when the reality of that not being the case must be processed mentally and emotionally. How many people are equal to doing that with and be free from fear and/or resentment?
In Jeremiah 21:8-9 (ESV) there is a very difficult decision for the people in Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar is about to lay siege to the city and the Lord gives this word to His people: "And to this people you shall say: 'Thus says the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live and shall have his life as a prize of war." How would you make your decision and what would it be? Instant death or years of hardship and constant exposure to idolatry?
Maybe the people of Jeremiah's day will; remember the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 30:15-18 (NIV), See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess." Would these words have come to your mind? Would you make your life choices based upon them? Is there relevance in these words for the professing Christian today? What rule of faith and practice do you embrace?
Please forgive a personal illustration that occurred yesterday while I was seated in the Fusion Center for Chemotherapy. A person in the cubicle alongside of me was visited by his Doctor. It was a heartbreaking time. and since only a curtain separates the cubicles, I could hear the discussion. In short, the person was told that the Medical Community had devised and tried everything possible to bring about a satisfactory result for his blood anomaly and they were out of options. He was told that he could be maintained for no more than three months. The son had a pleading tone in his voice but the Doctor said they had tried everything. They would admit this person into the hospital for a couple of days and a Chemo treatment but they needed to make arrangements for his admission to Hospice as soon as possible.
My session yesterday was approaching the nine-hour mark. I had made the trip with some apprehension and reservation. I was weary before arriving and very weary afterwards. However, the person's son was sitting in the waiting room and seemed dejected and helpless. I spoke with him briefly asking if they had any Church affiliation. He answered, Yes! As I spoke with him, I reminded him of The Great Physician who has a perfect plan in terms of life and death for his loved one (73 years of age). I shared with him that the arm of flesh can try as much as it can but fail, whereas the arm of The Great Physician is never short and will never fail. The man answered that he believed that and he was clinging onto faith in Him. We parted but I was overwhelmed with the gravity being faced by this person and family - and they were there alone - dealing with a life and death matter.
What are you clinging to in your alone moments when all you have is the Lord who promised never to leave you or forsake you? Do you believe He is always present with you? Do you believe it with an unwavering faith and confidence in Him alone? The words of Romans 14:7-9 (NLT) are uplifting: "For we don't live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose-to be Lord both of the living and of the dead." This should be your hope as well as the basis of your faith.
Prayerfully - consider these things with me.