A Matter of Life and Death

It has been a very long time since I’ve communicated in this space. And exactly one year and one day since I wrote the following post:

A Blessing For The Believing

FTI Blessed BelieversI went back and read the words and they seem to capture my current feelings pretty well. There are more than a few reasons for the recent silence. Maybe I’ll have a chance to share a bit of that later. But for now? The reason I find myself here today? Well, I guess you could say it’s a matter of life and death.

You see, I’ve been sifting through a sea of questions. The kind that seem to pop up in this “middle” stage of life. I want my days to count and I’ve been seeking God’s direction on where to go, what to do next.  I want to get it right. I don’t want to fail. Meanwhile, I feel stuck. Can you relate?

FYI, perfectionism is a killer.

Then there’s this man named Jon – a friend of ours – who has been a minister of the Gospel for years. My husband and I (along with many others) have been praying that he would be healed from the cancer he was diagnosed with last summer.

This morning, his sweet wife reported that just before midnight last night he breathed his last breath on this earth. Of course, I understand that Jon is now truly healed. He is enjoying the presence of Jesus. But my heart still hurts with the feeling of loss and I haven’t been able to keep the tears from bubbling up all day.

And I’ve been thinking about how Jon spent his last days. I don’t think he ever missed an opportunity to preach, even through the chemo. To observe someone with that kind of desire to do the Lord’s work, to see it through, right to the end – this is inspiring.

And so, as I enter into this holiday weekend, I find myself contemplating again the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means to me. A few minutes ago, the scripture from John 10:10 came to my mind where Jesus  says, I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

I looked it up and read where Jesus is identifying Himself as the Good Shepherd and those who accept Him as His sheep and I remembered… One of the last sermons I heard Jon preach on was from this passage of scripture. It came just after his diagnosis and was about trusting Jesus.

And I guess that’s the only real way to live. Trusting in Jesus. Letting Him shepherd us through the hard times. Knowing that, through Him, we are free to live an abundant life without fear because He overcame death, hell and the grave once and for all so that all who believe in Him could do the same.

That’s what Jon did. He put His faith in Jesus, his hope in things unseen. He believed. He trusted. His motto was to just go, to keep moving.

The disciples got that too. Jesus’ last words to them echoed in their ears long after He ascended to heaven. He said “Go” so they did and the world was forever changed.

I have been given the same Great Commission.When it comes to sharing His message, there’s no time to waste. I can’t wait around until I feel qualified or think I’ve got everything figured out. God knows I’m not perfect and I will never have all the answers. So what? Like those early disciples and like my friend Jon, I can move forward and trust the Lord to guide me like the Good Shepherd He is.

I can “just go” because it’s not about me. It’s about Jesus. With Him there is hope. With Him, every day is a resurrection.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

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