Oh, the wisdom children possess and the joy they bring us. Our granddaughter, Cassie Ann, spoke with me on the phone last evening. She announced that Cookie died today. Cookie was a beloved family pet - in dog years she was 70-plus - and, since Cassie is now 4, Cookie has been a constant presence in Cassie's life. After telling me about Cookie's demise, she further announced, "You're going to die someday, too, Grandma." The little prophetess was on a roll. She then proceeded to say, "I'll die someday. We're all going to die, Grandma." She even sounded joyful about it. I was left pretty much speechless after these revelations and could only mumble something about hoping she'd be around for a long time.
Cassie was right, of course. We will all cease breathing on this earth one day. Whether it was Daniel Defoe or Ben Franklin who uttered something about the certainty of death and taxes, you can be assured of one thing: We will all die. Although with honest deductions and a good certified public accountant, taxes may not be so certain. Ecclesiastes 7:2 reads, "Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart."
Only Enoch (Heb. 11:5) and Elijah escaped death (2 Kings 1:11) as we know it. Even though Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus, he most assuredly did die one last time.
It's amazing that so many people deny that death will come to them. Millions of dollars are spent on anti-aging creams and make-up, spas and gym memberships, health foods and vitamins in hope of delaying the effects of aging but eventually we all wear out these bodies on the inside. Then what? It all depends on the condition of your heart.
No, I'm not talking about the physical condition of your heart. Let's reflect on the spiritual condition. Have you talked with the great physician about the things that are really bothering you?
There are a lot of things that trouble us these days: finances, health, relationships, children, evil in our communities, state of government and world situations. There are other things that worry us too. Have you been hurt by someone in the past? Have you hurt another? Are you holding a grudge? Perhaps you've committed one of those "sins" that God warned us about in the Ten Commandments.
There are lots of things that affect the heart. Ministers often meet people under critical and scary situations. Many times we are called to a bedside of one who has received an unfavorable medical report. It's a frightening thing to face mortality, even more so when one has a bad "heart condition." God can cure that heart condition. The Great Physician has the remedy for any hurt you may have experienced in the past and he can lift the weight of that grudge you carry. Any good physician will prescribe rest from work and stressful situations for a time after a major illness. Let me tell you God will not only relieve your troubles temporarily, he'll vanish them for all eternity.
Yes, we're all going to die one day, but for those of us who believe that God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to shed his blood from the cross and die for the remission of our sins, to see him buried in an cold stone tomb and then raise him from that death just for us - death isn't the end, it's the beginning. Perhaps that's why Cassie sounded so joyous when she spoke of dying. Wouldn't you like to receive the "cure?"
Lesson on Death 101. First, have a little talk with Jesus. Talk with him as if he is your best friend. You don't have to get on your knees if your physical condition makes it difficult. You don't even have to bow your head, but it's a respectful touch. He is the Great I Am! Admit to God you are a sinner. Sincerely and simply ask his forgiveness. He'll be more that happy to come into your heart. Jesus wants to make this easy for you. He's already done the hard part.
He suffered and died on a cross so you could be forgiven, so you can begin life anew. Make your appointment with the great physician today. He has an immediate opening waiting just for you.
(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)