But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Wednesday, May 30

Just remember this: when you lay me down to die, you lay me down to live!

I haven't written much lately. And considering the crazy month that June is promising to be, I probably won't have much to say for a while, besides my Costume Adventure updates, of course.

But I have a little thought, and it asked to be given the chance to be a blog post, so I told it I'd let it try. If it's able to assemble itself well enough, I'll let it stay. Otherwise, well, it'll just be another lonely draft that no one will ever read.

Lately I've been considering mortality more than I have in a long time. When I was a depressed teenager, I thought about it a lot, with little to no happiness. But the more I've grown up, and the closer I've grown to the Lord, the more I find that death isn't so very scary. But then, I haven't had to deal with it much during the past few years.

Not long ago, though, I started noticing mortality in places I've never seen it before. My grandfather, who has always been a picture of strength and vitality to me, had to have surgery on his shoulders. My dog, whom I've always called my puppy, is suddenly a smelly old dog. They're little, silly things, but they've had a ridiculously strong effect on me. Somehow these two small things began to let in a trickle of the fear that fuels most of my nightmares. "They're going to die someday. I'll die someday. There's no escaping that. Everyone is going to die someday. Everyone I love will die someday. They'll be dead, and I'll be alone. And there's nothing I can do about it."

But! Praise be to our compassionate God! He gave me the grace to run to Him with my fears, and gave me eyes to see reality.
This world is a miserable little sigh that will, thankfully, be over and done before we know it. Death is not the end of us, just (for the believer) the end of pain and sadness and confusion. It's the end of saying the wrong thing, thinking the wrong thing, and doing the wrong thing. It's leaving this fallen body and being with God! It's the highest example of God taking what is unnatural and bad, and turning it into a tool that brings ultimate joy and glory!

Don't misunderstand me, it comes at a high cost. I'm looking very, very forward to eternity, but NOT to dying. Knowing what lies on the other side helps, but doesn't take away most of the terror of crossing that river.

So God graciously gives peace, and for that I praise Him. But it's so very easy to get my mind off track!
Last night I stayed up late reading a book that I didn't enjoy very much. I tried very hard to care, but honestly I kept having to re-read bits of it because my mental narration kept saying "blah, blah, blah..." I'm serious!
At the very end, however, I choked up. And when I put down the book, I sobbed. Not because I cared about the characters, or because the writing was so powerful, or even because I couldn't believe I'd wasted precious hours of my life on it. I sobbed because in one scene the author said, "blond braid down her back," and I immediately saw my sister (who's blonde braid is very long). Before I could get the image to change to the actual character, Savannah was blown to bits before my eyes.
And then it hit me again, harder than it has in years: someday my sister will die, and I cannot stop it. And I sobbed for what was certain, and I cursed Adam and Eve and the Serpent, and I rejoiced in the day when all sorrow will be avenged. But that didn't help my despair.

This morning I was still sad, which is rarely good, and never on a work day. So I took it quickly to the Lord. He helped me to realize that part of my sorrow was due to immersing myself in the mindset of the book I'd been reading. There is no God in that world, and there certainly isn't any hope. There's nothing after death, and so you must cling to life with everything you have.

But that's the fiction world of the book, not reality! There is hope. Furthermore, all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. He wouldn't let me nor any of His children die if it wasn't the best way to bring about the most gloriously wonderful result! Not everyone has died. The best thing for Elijah and Enoch was that they didn't. But most of us will. And that's okay, because God is trustworthy and good. The better I get to know Him, the more I'm certain of that fact. He is good, and He loves His children with a passion that no human will ever be able to understand - on this side of the river, at least.

Well, there you have it. I think my thought pulled itself together quite nicely in the short amount of time I gave it to do so, don't you? Well, maybe you don't. Either way, I hope that it has been a blessing to you.

Grace and Peace,