I was weak, and tired… sleepy… so very sleepy…
Somewhere out there, beyond my fog, I was faintly aware that there was a lot of activity going on around me. “HR 32, BP …/52… O2… “ two EMTs kneeling beside me… reporting to hospital ER as the ambulance jostled. “52,” I thought to myself… that’s very low, I think. But I was too sleepy. The oxygen mask felt good on my face and I just wanted to sleep… just sleep. “I may be dying,” I thought. But that was OK. The Lord was there. He and the EMTs would look after things…. And besides, it would be SO good to just sleep…
A final bump, and we were there. Ceiling tiles whizzed up and out of view as we rattled through corridors. “Rats! Its hard to sleep like this,” I pondered. “1, 2, 3..” and I was loaded to a different surface. I continued to leave the hubbub to the professionals, rather indifferent to their commotion. As an IV dripped needed electrolytes back into me I began to feel less tired. Gradually, I came to prefer the wakefulness. Finally, I learned I had experienced an episode of severe dehydration. (Water and Gatorade have since then become my very bestest of buddies.)
That was the second of three incidents where I thought I just might possibly be dying. Every time, the Lord and His crazy Peace was right there with me.
Since that time I have visited the besides of a number of saints in Christ who completed this journey. Each one left this world accompanied by this wonderful Savior. He came, held a hand, and lifted them across, as they rested in His grasp.
How different from the deathbed experiences of those atheists we glimpsed at on Monday! The believer need not fear death. In fact, by letting EGO die now, and giving Christ rule, we can get death over with early, then go on for as many days more that He gives us, allowing Christ to live through us!
This is what Paul describes in Gal. 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
It is what Jesus points to in Mark 8:35 “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” All the gospel writers record this! (See Matt. 10:39, 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24, 17:33; John 12:25).
It’s important. It’s essential. It’s what empowered Bonhoeffer and gave courage and unction to many others. And it’s where one finds the truly “abundant life” spoken of by Jesus (John 10:10)!
Got questions? Need help with this? Use the Contact page and we can reach out to Christ together!