We were on our way to a wedding ceremony that would take us about ten hour’s to drive from our home to Santa Cruz. The traffic from San Diego to San Jose would be congested especially if we left anytime around rush hour. So we decided to leave in the evening, after a long day of work, in the hopes of missing long lines of slow traffic. We were successful and enjoying our trip until we got the phone call.
It’s the kind of news you never want to get and continuously pray that you don’t. A member of our family had just had a massive arterial trauma and was in the operating room. It had happened suddenly, without notice, and all we could do was look at one another and say “Oh no!” then after a couple of deep breaths we began to reassure our family members that we were thinking of them and praying for healing.
As I continued to drive I couldn’t stop thinking about my brother who was in critical condition. Fifty-seven is too young to be fighting for life on the operating table. My mind continued to race ahead and I began to think of how fragile our bodies really are and how short life can be.
My eyes begin to focus and observe the miles of freeway which is in terrible shape and run down condition. I look at pot holes, missing concrete and heaps of trash that continue to pile up along gutters or against freeway fences. Weeds too, continue to grow out of those cracks in the pavement which spall and uplift the roadways covering our transportation arteries. I continue to think about how everything is going from a state of order to a state of disorder and how our bodies are no exception.
The next day we got another call; this story does not end well for our brother. What was to be an enchanted, uplifting evening of wedding vows and promises around the table of family reunion, quickly deteriorated into a deep valley of despair and mourning. If our California skies could’ve darkened up and rained then we would have been in the middle of a great deluge where a sudden flash of lighting ripped away our brother from us forever.
As a pastor, I often help others through this valley of sorrow and pain with a gentle hug to reassure them that “It will be alright” but nothing and no one but God can send comfort to those who have lost someone to the ravages of time. Now I found myself in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death looking up at the steep cliffs on both side of me and searching for an answer to encourage my own family, but none will come.
Fact: our bodies are made up of approximately 57 per cent water and 43 per cent trace elements. Now, while the assortment of gasses and elements make up 100 per cent of our earthly tent there still exists an un-detectable essence that is our spirit and constitutes who we really are. I am certain that without my faith in God I would be reduced to a small pile of dust and picture book full of memories.
In the book of Job, considered by many to be the oldest book in the bible, Job says this "Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock with an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:23-27
Thousands of years later Paul writes to the church in Corinth “For we know if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” What a great spiritual truth to believe in and hold onto as God promises us a glorious future with Him in eternity.
There is a verse in the book of Hebrews 9:27 that states “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” People who have trusted in Jesus Christ will not be judged for their sin. All others will have to stand before a holy, righteous God at the great white throne. Everyone who finds themselves at this judgment will be found guilty of forsaking, refusing or ignoring God’s gift of salvation from sin.
Why don’t you ask God for forgiveness today and receive His free gift of salvation?