By Coral Blake
There is nothing quite like taking care of someone who is your own age and is also dying of cancer. My first thought was, “He/she is too young to die,” and my second was, “So am I.” The whole shift was spent tearing at my heart, and quite honestly I could not figure out just why is was so painfully personal. Not while I was at the task, anyway. Then hours or maybe even a day later the patient visited my thoughts again, but this time the thought was, “I could have been me.”
My last three nights have been spent taking care of nine to ten patients, three of which were of my generation and learning to accept the grave reality that has been given them. I know of three young children and two spouses, as well as other family members and friends whose consuming focus is how to get through all that is ahead to help the patient and themselves “survive.”
What about me? What if it is in my near future to be diagnosed with a deadly disease? How would my family and I cope? Am I prepared? Do I have the foundation I need to fight physically and mentally? Do I have God in my corner seeing me and my loved ones through?
Well, when I thought about all of this, I came to some unexpected peace. It is because I know that this life is just a vapor, just a current task at hand. But whenever I am called to die, as all will be, I will pass to eternal life and answer for what I have accomplished. I live for Him, so that I can live with Him. That brings my weary heart comfort.
What about you? People your age die every day. Does that reality bring thoughts to your heart like it does to mine? What peace do you find when you think about these things? For now is the time for all good men to repent.
I am praying for my patients, not just for their recovery, but for their spiritual awakening. And I am praying for the same for you.
By Kent Heaton
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon God? There they are in great fear where no fear was, for God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you; You have put them to shame, because God has despised them. Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad” (Psalm 53).
Bumper stickers can say a lot in few words. The back of the van had a small sticker that simply read, “Try God.” There seems to be an appeal to draw a person to seek the Lord for the answers to life but the petition was faulty. It does suggest a need to turn to God for help but limits the response to something one should try without committing. Buying a new car involves trying different models to find one that suits the needs and desires of the owner. Trying out new foods is experimental rejecting tastes that are displeasing. Going to the store to try on clothes is shopping for a bargain. God cannot be bought like a car or tried as an experiment. When someone tries God like shopping for clothes they will never find anything that will fit because the Lord is so great and we are so small.
The truth of it is the way that most people approach God is to try Him first and then decide. God is not someone who asks man to try Him. There is only one choice. There is only one way. There is only one hope. Anything less than full commitment denies the existence of God. Jesus did not suggest for man to come to Him and take Him for a test drive. Salvation is not a choice man has based upon the whims of man’s carnal desires. When the Lord gave commands to Israel at Mt. Sinai He began with the no choice clause: there will be no other Gods – period. Throughout the Law of Moses God affirmed His presence by telling the people the reason for their obedience was because HE WAS THE LORD! He declares the same today. He is still Lord.
The little bumper sticker does define a generation. Trying God becomes a way in which man molds God into his own image. The Lord has been changed to appeal to the masses like a tooth-paste commercial. “Try God” is when modern religion dresses the Holy God in garbs of worldliness, entertainment, philosophy and fleshly appeal. There are many religious today but few are following the real God of scripture. Man has made God into his own totem where God looks like the tickled ears of man’s creation. The fool can deny God by recreating the image of the Father into the image of the creation. Try God and you will fail. Obey God and you will be saved. There is no choice.
Moving on the Right Path
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
Whether or not you reach your chosen destination depends on two things: 1) moving forward; 2) keeping on the right path. You cannot stand still on the right path. Neither will it avail to be the swiftest, brightest dog on the wrong race track! The entire book of Hebrews warns that standing still leads to drifting away (Hebrews 2:1). Obviously, if you are on the broad way, it doesn’t matter how fast or efficiently you are working, you are headed toward destruction. (Oscar C. Miles)