To Have Life

Ephesians 2: 1-5 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 

Years ago when I was very, very sick and no doctor knew what was wrong with me, I was tormented by whether I was going to live or die.  It certainly felt as though I was dying.  My nervous system was not working correctly, my brain was unable to function, my body refused to do anything a normal human being’s body is supposed to do. It was as though my “motherboard” was short circuiting and I couldn’t do a thing about it.  It was extremely frightening, especially since I had two very small children who depended on me.  The fear in me that I would die and leave them with a dad who was incapable of an intimate relationship was haunting.  Honestly, it was utterly awful, like living in hell on earth.  I was tormented.

One day, after being sick over a year and a half, the debate in me as to whether or not I would live or die was simply overwhelming.    I walked from my bedroom into the bathroom and looked in the mirror.  Out of my mouth came some words that I knew were not mine but His.   I had to go write them down because my brain was so fried at the time that I didn’t understand anything that I had said.

What had I said?   This is what He told me.   “To live is not to have life.  To have life is to live.”   Well, my brain being as infected as it was, took a while to process this message.    When He explained it to me, I finally understood.   To have a body with a beating heart doesn’t mean that a person has life.  It just means that we are physically able to breathe and that our heart was beating.    But to have life-  and Jesus is life- is to live, is to be “alive” in the way that God understands alive to be.   To be alive in Christ is life.

And just to make this clear, I understood how profound this message was to me and I knew that indeed, I had life in me, but I was still angry that He hadn’t answered my question. 🙂  How’s that for humanity?   He did answer that question, in His time and when it simply came to matter less to me than it mattered at that moment.    I gave it up as an idol.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t want my heart to beat many more years but that is in His hands and I surrender to His will.   Hopefully His will is that I live many more years.   I pray that I make them count for eternity.

We live in a world of the walking dead.   We know the Author of life.   If we love as He loves, we will tell those who have no life where Life is found.   Jesus.

Takeaway:   Just because we are breathing does not mean that we know what life is.   There is no eternal purpose in life apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ.   Let us crave knowing Him more than we crave having a heartbeat.   He is there for everyone but it takes us reaching out for Him and receiving Him (again, we have to take action) in order for us to find Life.   

Prayer:   Lord, I praise You and worship You and thank You for the life inside of me that You alone have given me.  You are the reason for my body’s heart to be beating.   You are the one that makes sense of this life.  Knowing You more and sharing You with others is the only investment that lasts throughout eternity.  Please Lord, teach me to prioritize my life accordingly.  Allow me to invest in things that will last forever and ever instead of things that are temporary.  

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