July 5, 2008

Death - A Gift From God

As I was folding the laundry yesterday I heard an odd sound from my knees. It was a slippery-squeaky sort of sound, like smooth plastic sliding over smooth plastic. I investigated further, and sure enough, as I shifted my weight even slightly I would hear it.

Have you seen the version of the Cinderella story where one of the stepsisters had a knee that creaks? The prince tried to get her to "creak" in time with the music they were dancing to. Last winter I went through therapy for my knees to strengthen the surrounding muscles. Now they're making squeaky music!

Once again I'm considering my own mortality. Why is that so difficult, anyway? Every human on this planet knows about death. Everyone dies. We all have hopes that our lives (and our knees) will get better and better as time passes, and yet we also know what's coming.

Why I think that death is a gift from God:

We're not what we want to be. We lost the original glory of life that God breathed into us when He made us. We sinned.

Think about it - if Adam and Eve had not been barred from the Garden, they would've eaten fruit that would have given them eternal life in the state they were in. Who would want that? Perpetual depression, pain, spiritual darkness, detachment, hunger, hopelessness, deterioration, sickness, grief...

I have comforted myself lately with the reminder that I was not created to die. That was not God's plan or His purpose. Because I believe this is true, contemplating the death of a friend or my own departure makes me uneasy. I can never get to that place where death is "just a natural part of life", because I don't believe it is.

I was made to live.

And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22& 24 NIV

God's mercy provided the protection we needed to keep us from suffering for our sin forever. He allows death to act like pruning shears – to cut us off from that last bit of the curse that clings to us.

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22

Notice two words in the scripture, “in Christ”. God blocked the entrance to the Garden to protect us from literally dying forever, but He offers us His Son to bring us life. That’s where we get to make our choice – to live.

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Simple prayer:

Thank you, God, for blocking my access to the fruit that would make me stay this way forever! Lord, I want to be “in Christ” and live with you forever. I put my life – and my death – in your hands. Thank you for your love for me that provides this wonderful plan! Amen.

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This link is for Art Linkletter's recent interview with Pat Robertson on "How to Be a Sassy Senior" - or how to grow old. It is GREAT! He still cracks me up...
http://www.cbn.com/media/index.aspx?s=/vod/ArtLinkletter_101006&title=The%20700%20Club&prgm=700club#