I have 3 minutes to write. I vowed (or practically vowed) to go to bed at 11:30 pm. Yet, here I am….writing with 2 minutes to go. I have been thinking a lot about life and death. When a pastor from San Diego dies suddenly of a heat attack, you think.
When a popular star commits suicide, you consider.
When you have loved ones and countless people you care for, you worry.
And my 3 minutes is over.
Though, I’m not finished yet.
I’ve worked myself into a frenzy thinking about death and the possibilities of who or what or when. You really taste the brevity of life when death stacks up in the space of several weeks. You really sink low when you hear about the martyrs for Christ. You even really wonder how in the world you can be so blessed when others are facing so much tragedy, so much blood, so much hate. Even so, you realize….
I can lose everyone in the world, but I can’t lose God.
I can lose my own life to this present world, but I can’t lose my eternity in heaven with the God of the universe.
I can lose and I can lose some more.
But I can never lose God. “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” His words are my hope, my lifeline even in this calm sea that I call my present life.
My God will never leave me nor forsake me. And I am not asked to be a martyr for Christ. Not yet, not now. If that day comes, then with God’s strength, I will be a martyr. That burden does not belong to me tonight.
If I lose my family or the ones I love, then God is with me. Truly. Fully. Never-leaving. But the loss of others does not belong to me tonight.
If I lose my life tonight, then I will see my God face to face, and He is with me. But I am alive for this moment, my death does not belong to me tonight.
And so I realize that this labyrinth of pressing question marks sinks below the surface and directly in my view is the God of my salvation, the Holy One, God forever, King above all kings, Keeper of my life, Giver of my breath, and Author of this story.
I realize that it isn’t my story that I am telling. I am a chapter. Perhaps, I am just a few sentences. But the hope I have weaves through the entirety of this book and the Author never changes and He never leaves me. Not once. Not ever.
My 3 minutes is long gone. I had 21 more minutes to wrap up this post of rambling thoughts,but I had to record this. I needed to write this down.
Because I know that one day, something will happen and I will need to be reminded that God will never leave me! I will need to remember what my grief will blind from me. I will need to read this hope when my world comes crashing down. And so now, I whisper softly,
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.”
I leave this post peacefully, the churning thoughts aside, the blissful hope abounds, and God’s strength allows me to say, “It is well. It is well with my soul.”