Many of us live as though immune from the threat of death. We basically feel secure. We have an odd confidence that we will live a full number of years. The coronavirus threatens that confidence. These times are uncertain in part because we don’t know when or if we may be infected with COVID-19 and we don’t know how severe that infection might be. What we are failing to see is that we are already infected with a fatal illness, one that was contracted at our conception. There is no vaccine. There is no cure. Most of us do not yet know the name of our disease but it is very present and very real. Our days are numbered, and we don’t get to know how many there will be. In The Weight of Glory C. S. Lewis wrote,
“. . . There is no question of death or life for any of us, only a question of this death or that. . .”
We do not have the ability to opt out of death. Unfortunately, for now, it is an inescapable part of life. Accidents, heart attacks, cancer, violence, and viruses are just a few of numerous “infections” that may end our lives. We don’t like to think about life in this way but there is no denying the truth . . . Life is a terminal condition.
There is a reason why death is difficult for us to grasp and a reason for why we are so adept at suppressing, ignoring, or distracting ourselves from it. The reason is that death itself is an aberration. It is not normal. God has placed eternity in our hearts. There is an inkling in each one of us that we were made for more than this short life. That spark, no matter how small, burns inside of us because in the beginning we were not created with a terminal disease. Originally we were not meant to die, or suffer, or fear. Death is not normal. You and I should not be infected with it. It came into God’s creation resulting from our rebellion against Him. It is here because of sin but death has no place in the intended human experience. And that is why Jesus came to defeat it. He is the death killer. And the only way to overcome that enemy was to be killed Himself and then be raised again victorious over it. He now offers for us to share in that victory He has won. He offers us that which is truly life. A life eternal. A life that reaches beyond physical death. A life that restores the original intention for human beings. A life that need not fear death from viruses or any other cause because we know our time here is an infinitesimal drop in the ocean of eternity. A life that can look at our earthly troubles and count them as light compared to the glory of what is to come.
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
So fix your gaze on heavenly things. Focus on the unseen things. For the material world is passing away, but the unseen things, those things are eternal. And that is where true life is found.
God Has Called Me Near
Some sober words today were spoken,
Words that echoed loud and clear.
The sound left my spirit broken,
And my mind in doubt and fear.
My body by a plague afflicted,
The diagnosis causing strife.
My time that’s left is so restricted,
By an illness we call life.
What treatment is there can I find?
For a remedy I look.
But seeing nothing I was blind,
Until I found The Book.
A careful search within its pages,
The cure at last is found.
This life is cursed with sin’s wages,
My soul by darkness bound.
But someone came to take my place,
To fix this awful mess.
Jesus Christ with loving grace,
Died my soul to bless.
Now I set my mind on dying,
To the world in which I live.
To hold a hope more satisfying,
What can’t be held I give.
My life now in the Healer’s hand,
Who holds the only cure.
A perfect rescue He had planned,
To make me clean and pure.
Now I hear new words being spoken,
Words that echo loud and clear.
No longer is my spirit broken,
God has called me near.