Friday, August 11, 2023

A Reason to Live

 I have nothing to give. I am worthless. I have no one to love. No one loves me. The world would be better off without me. My family shouldn't suffer because of me.

A modern epidemic, even within the Christian community, is depression. At some point in a person's life she may decide she does not want to go on with life. Sometimes this is chemically induced, and sometimes this is situationally induced.

Life can become grueling. It may seem at times, hopeless. There may even arise in one's mind the lie that others would be better off without you. Don't listen to it.

I know of those who have lain in wait for death. The doctors say their illness is terminal. They are shuffled off to hospice to die as painlessly as possible. There is no hope. Their family begins to mourn and suffer the long trial of life lost. Tears are shed; anger is felt; sorrow is deepened.

I also know of those who long to live, even though they are told they would die. They hold on to the hope of life like a bulldog holds on to a bone. Letting go is not an option. They cling to life even though death holds for them a place where there is no more sorrow or pain or fear. Why?

David, of the Old Testament, was one of these people.

Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? Psalm 6:4-5 (KJV)

David had plenty of reasons to give up: the king turned on him; he lost his wife and his best friend; he had to live among the rejected and in the wilds. Nonetheless, he knew if he died, he could not give thanks to God as he could in this world.

The Apostle Paul suffered great persecution and hardship. If ever a person should long for his heavenly home, he had that right. However, he saw that if he died then God could no longer use him.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. . . . For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. Philippians 1:21-24

Paul's work was not yet done and he determined to complete it. There came a time when he knew he would die, and he was ready for it, but until that time, he set his mind on finishing the course God had given him.

The bottom line: our lives are not about ourselves, they are about God. When we turn our focus inward, into our desires and wants, even to what we see as our needs, we turn our focus off of God. We lose the faith (not meaning faith unto salvation, but faith unto perseverance).

When we throw our hands up in the air and say all is lost, we've lost focus on God and the wonderful, hope-giving anticipation of what He might do. We have forgotten that those who endure will be saved.

Suicide and euthanasia are selfish escapes. These deaths show a lack of faith, a lack of desire to see God at work. They reveal a heart fixated on the "me-god" our society has created. They are not the answer.

I know this seems harsh. Nasty even. Especially when one is not willing to humble herself to the God who created her. But until we realize that life is not about us, it's about God, we'll live in the dark and seek a dark death.

There is a hope. You never know how or when God will chose to heal you or to save you from your situation. You never know how God might use you.

Today I know of someone who lies in a hospital desiring to live but is told he will die. The doctors fight with the family, complaining that medicines that might help this person are too expensive. Yet this man has communicated that he wants to live, because he wants to serve God. Even now, when he can't get out of bed without help, he is serving God because of his tremendous faith. Yes, he believes God can heal him, but more than that, he is determined that should he live he would serve God; such commitment is testimony of true faith and an undying love for his Saviour.

Such a person is an inspiration to me, and in that, he acts out his reason for living. Indeed, life is not about me, it's about God. And well I do to remember this.

And the Chase Is On

  Years ago, I set my iPad on the treadmill, started up a movie   and pressed 2 for a warmup. I had just begun to punch the button to speed ...