Saturday, April 13, 2013

Death Sentence

You're going to die and so are we. Of course, unless Jesus returns and believers are translated (raptured) before we leave this earth physically, physical death will happen. Some Christian teachers apparently don't believe that the rapture will happen, but based on what the Bible says, it seems pretty clear that dead or alive, Christians have this to look forward to. However it plays out, we can trust God's Word and either way, it's all good.
1Cr 15:52 KJV - In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1Th 4:16 KJV - For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
The Bible does tell us about two fellows who didn't face physical death, very cool... Enoch and Elijah. (worth reading about.) 

Not sure how I found out about it, but I knew at a very young age that we will die. There were a couple particularly dark periods in my wee life, at about the age of seven or eight, when thoughts and questions about the meaning of life and the fear of death, tormented me. It would always seem to culminate by bed time, after a long day of activity - you lie there, alone and quiet, time to think. Over and over, questions like..."I can't relive today and it is over already...what is the purpose of it all? What happens when we die? Is it going to hurt before?" It is more than possible, that the thoughts were provoked by a Doctor who declared to my Mom, in front of me around this age, that I was going to die at the age of twenty due to Muscular Dystrophy.

The depths of depression reached an all time low while I was living at an institution, starting in my pre-teen years. I remember being nauseated and literally terrified, worse than before because now there was a sense of terror, terror at what awaited me after death. Before it was more about they whys and a general fear of death itself. But this time, it was more real than ever. There would be no way to avoid the death sentence that awaited me. Being more aware of the unseen realm and that there had to be more to life than what we see, I was afraid of this place I had heard about called hell. Would that be where I would go? Blinding fear swallowed me up.

I received some comfort having my favourite child care worker to talk with, but no concrete answers came. Death, as she knew, was a fact for everyone. What else could she do but listen. Word must have gotten out, because, one woman who worked there, brought me to her church once. I appreciated her gesture, but it meant nothing to me because I didn't know why that would matter. Sleep was tough and my nerves were ragged, unable to tolerate what flew through my head night after night. Eventually, these feelings lessened somewhat and I was able to regain some kind of normalcy. But, the fear and uncertainty of what awaited me after death, never left. Not until God opened my eyes and removed the sting of death. That would take another 8 years or so.

Suddenly at thirteen, my folks were told that I had scoliosis so severe, I would be dead in six months if I didn't have corrective surgery. Off to Toronto we flew. The curve in my back was and still is the shape of the letter "S." It worked for about a year, but it collapsed. Here I am, at fourty-seven, alive and breathing easily, in spite of my spine curved worse than it ever was. Always take note, God is in charge of our lives, not Doctors, not us...Well it was during this hospital stay that I was re-diagnosed with
Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Even though I was under a five day intravenous, morphine haze, along with a couple of blood transfusions, I remember the bright look on my Dad's smiling face. For some reason, he seemed excited when he told me about the mistake and how I don't have Muscular Dystrophy but turns out I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy. The five day haze of intravenous morphine and blood transfusions, clearly clouded my brain because it is all I can remember.

Needless to say, the fear of death remained and battles with depression and bad life choices invaded my life as the teen years ensued. As I reflect back and why I am writing this, is to give glory to God and thank Him publicly, for allowing that fear of death because I know now, it was valid and it kept me from making even worse life style choices and ultimately, it caused me to search and ask questions about the real meaning of life.

During a random conversation with my husband and my parents a few years ago, when my Dad mentioned that they told me all those years ago, that they let me know how my life expectancy changed to "normal" with the new diagnosis of SMA. Stunned at that moment, I gasped, "no, you never told me that!" I  had no recollection of this event, it was news to me. It became evident, that I was not to know about my life expectency change because, it was what drove the search for meaning. It was that fear that caused me to refrain from making deadly life style choices. So I am living proof that God allows whatever He knows is best, to cause us to search Him out. I was not one to accept whatever to make me feel warm and fuzzy. When He opened my eye about one year after I was "supposed" to die, every ounce of fear regarding death disappeared. Just like that!

1Cr 15:54-56 KJV - So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?  The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.

So if you don't know the freedom Jesus gives us, He is far worth listening to. Here is a web site that has some answers you may find interesting.

I am so thankful for all He has shown me. There is far more to this amazing life that He has blessed me with, I could write a novel about it...but for now, hopefully you can see that there is Truth and meaning to why we are here. Better still, there are answers!

Check out this site: