Sunday, 4 October 2015

"I wonder God if you'll take my hand"

"Mother buries 3 children and her father following a week-end crash."
     Because I live, you also will live.
 
"A mother to four young girls succumbs to cancer."
     Because I live, you also will live.
 
"A sister in Christ shares her testimony about her terminal illness."
     Because I live, you also will live.
 
Three sentences.
Seven deaths.
Countless tears.
One promise.
 
In the span of two days, I read the tragic headline about the mother burying her children; heard the news about the death of an old friend's wife through another friend; and listened to a testimony of a dying sister in Christ shared with us by her husband. Sometimes when we hear tragic news we hardly give it a second thought. At other times news like this can shake our foundations and we ask questions about life and its meaning.
 
So what are we supposed to do with this? Why does a mom have to bury not just one but all three of her children plus her father? How is a father to raise four young girls without their mommy? Why is a godly man asked to live out his retirement years with out his dearly loved wife of 27 years. I ask lots of questions...but receive few, if any, answers.
 
But amidst all the deafening questions that are screaming for answers we hear Jesus' voice rise above the noise and whisper his promise, "Do not let your hearts be troubled...Because I live, you also will live" (John 14) and we remember that our life on earth is but a blink of an eye compared to the eternity we will spend in Heaven. When we remember this promise from Jesus - death's sting is less painful, and its finality less dreadful if we have placed our trust and faith in the only person who died and was raised victoriously.
 
If I believed that all there is to life is a few short years and then we die, I would find no consolation, no reasonable cause for hope, and no ultimate purpose to carry on.
 
However, it is becoming more and more apparent as I get older, that time is slipping away and the need to share the saving new of Christ is more urgent than ever. Too much time is wasted on 'getting ahead', crossing off 'bucket list' items, feeding destructive habits, reopening old wounds, and not letting go of the past.  The source of our only hope and comfort in life and in death is Jesus Christ. Without him, there is no hope for you and I. This message of hope doesn't get any clearer!
 
Frances Angermeyer, a WWII soldier, wrote this dramatic poem of his own conversion in 1942.

Lord God, I have never spoken to you,
but now I want to say how do you do?
 
You see God they told me you didn't exist
and like a fool I believed all this.
 
Last night from a shell hole I saw your sky,
I figured right then they had told me a lie.
 
Had I taken time to see the things you made,
I would have know they weren't calling a spade a spade.
 
I wonder God if you'll take my hand,
somehow I feel that you'll understand.
 
Funny how I had come to this hellish place,
before I had time to see your face.
 
I guess there really isn't much more to say,
but I'm sure glad God that I met you today.
 
I guess zero hour will soon be here,
But I'm not afraid since I know you're near.
 
The signal, well God I'll have to go,
I like you lots, I want you to know.
 
Look now this will be a horrible fight,
who knows I may come to your house tonight.
 
Though I wasn't friendly to you before,
I wonder God if you'd wait at my door.
 
Look I'm crying, I'm shedding tears,
I'll have to go now, God, good-bye.
 
Strange now since I met you,
I'm not afraid to die.
 
If you live because Jesus lives in you; if your peace within comes from knowing Christ as your Saviour; if you believe that death does not have the final say, don't wait to share it. Someone's life depends on it.
 
If you want to know more about this faith I have in Christ, if you want to be convinced of Christ's authenticity, then I urge you check out Lee Strobel's, a former legal journalist for The Chicago Tribune and one-time atheist, compelling argument: "The Case for Christ: Evidence for the Resurrection".