Forty-one is far too young. Too young to die. At least to those of us left on earth, it is. Today we learned of the death of a friend. A friend who shared some of the most special years of our lives with us. A friend who touched everyone he met with a zeal for life and an appreciation of his blessings. A friend with a wife, children who are now left to pick up pieces and somehow find a way to move forward.
For those without hope, I just don’t see how that is possible. Times like these polarize my thoughts. Mentally, I travel down two roads. The road of salvation and the road of sadness.
Salvation is found for those who recognize their own brokenness and realize that there is no way they will ever find peace through their own doing. It takes recognition. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Simply put, we’re a mess and without God, we’re a mess and in trouble eternally.
Those who recognize this truth have a way out of the mess, however. On my own, I fail. But, through acceptance of the promise of the gift of salvation, I am saved. The Bible goes on to say in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Chris Jesus our Lord.”
Eternal life. We are all going to have it. The question is where we will spend it. With God or apart from Him. I have complete clarity about where I will spend it. Through the simple act of faith and through asking Christ to live in my heart, I know that I will spend eternity with Him.
If you haven’t done this, I beg you to strongly consider it. Pray. Ask God to show you the next step you need to take, now. You just don’t know that you will have a tomorrow to deal with it.
Which leads me to the other road. Sadness. Sadness for those who don’t think they need to “worry about this stuff.” Sadness for those who believe they will be fine because they are “good people, do good things and go to church.” These are statements that are just not enough. You DO need to think about this. You CANNOT do it by your own merits. Salvation is a GIFT. An unearned, undeserved gift from the God who created you and loves you. Yet, as much as He loves us, He leaves the decision to us. Up to each sinful, messed up heart. When you reach the place where you understand how lost you are without Him, you realize you never want to feel that way again – at least I pray you do.
As for my friend, he is home. As stunned and sad as we who are left behind are at this point, he is rejoicing with Jesus. As believers, we are assured, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life,” 1 John 5:13. This is how we will go on, pick up the pieces and live.