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At our chapel’s Wednesday night prayer meetings, I typically record everyone’s prayer requests in a little red notebook. Thumbing through that notebook saddens me, because it reminds me that there are a lot of difficult situations and hurting people in the world.
It also reminds me of the frailty of life, and the constant nearness of death.
A grandmother in pain. A businessman with cancer and the flu. A teacher with persistent health problems. A mother whose cancer is only getting worse. A former co-worker who unexpectedly passed away. A widower remembering the six-month anniversary of his wife’s death.
Those are only a sampling of the requests from last week.
Every Wednesday I’m reminded that sickness and death are very real, that life tomorrow is not guaranteed, that only a few brief years stand between me and my eulogy.
Every day, the clock is ticking.
The journey from the cradle to the grave is not nearly as long as we think.
Death—it’s one of those things that we can fight against. In some cases, it can be postponed. Thanks to brilliant medical technology, we can even rescue a few people from its clutches—temporarily.
But at the end of the day, we all eventually succumb. Like a cruel overlord with no regard for his subjects, death strikes mercilessly and indiscriminately. Eventually, death wins every time, or so it seems.
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. | Psalm 90:10
But look again at today’s verse:
as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. | Romans 4:17
It reminds us of a blessed hope, a wondrous truth. God gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. In other words,
E V A P O R A T E S
before the presence of God.
Remember Lazarus? Remember the daughter of Jairus? Remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
God raised [Jesus] up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. | Acts 2:24
Brothers and sisters, the God we believe in is not constrained in the same way we are. God is not trapped under death’s oppression. On the contrary, God removes death of its sting. He robs the grave of its victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).
Death is no match for our God.
So next time the thought of death strikes fear in your heart or a litany of prayer requests leaves you feeling depressed, remember that we worship an everlasting, life-giving God—a God who triumphs over death every time.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…” | John 11:25