Monday, February 24, 2014

I Will Never Die!

The most profound change in your life comes when you realize that when God says you have eternal life, He means it starts today. We are no longer subject to the kind of death that the human race fears so much. Eternity has already begun for us. If we cease to breathe for a time and sleep for a while then wake when Christ comes for us, then death isn't death at all, but what my grandpa called a "dirt nap".  And oh, the joy when we wake up in that incredible "great gettin' up morning". 

Teach that to your children. It changes everything for them, especially their relationship to the trials, tribulations and the troubles that present themselves when they are growing up. It brings the petty persecutions, the sadness and loneliness of being an adolescent more bearable.

I got a peek at that idea in my senior year at Valley Grande Academy. I made the 500 mile pilgrimage to Weslaco, Texas mostly because there was this girl...

She dumped me the first week for her old boyfriend. I locked myself in my dorm room for 3 days. Our campus pastor, Mike Hansen, dropped by my room to talk. I didn't want to talk. I wanted to be miserable, but I let him in.  He told me something that changed things for me.

He said, "Tom, God has a wonderful girl picked out for you already. This one just wasn't her. She's waiting for you up ahead. You just have to find her."  I got up off the bed, took a shower and went back to living my life. Six more girls dumped me before it finally occurred to me that God might want to be more involved in the selection process. So I got down on my knees and prayed very hard. I said, "God, you pick the next one. I'm done."  Two weeks later the love of my life invited me to sit with her on the bus to Bible camp so we could play guitar and sing. Shortly after that God smacked me up beside the head (literally, I think - there was a sudden shock and I saw stars). He told me as clearly as I've ever heard his voice that this girl was precious to Him and that I was to take care of her.

So I did. But what Pastor Hansen told me taught me something I've never forgot. We live on God's time. He has all the wonderful things we can imagine prepared for us. All we have to do is walk the path he lays out for us. He never promised us unending sunshine and rainbows in this life. What he promised us is that if we trust our hearts and our lives to him that in the end it would be well worth the wait. I'm grateful that God helped me wait to find the other half of me. Together we have begun an eternal life together. I am not afraid anymore like I was that day in my dorm room when I was entertaining notions that my life was doomed to be eternally miserable.

If you come upon a young person who is deeply troubled, sad and discouraged, remind him that eternal life has already begun if he or she will only allow God to give that to them. We may have to walk a rough and rocky road to get there, but the journey is so worth it. Along that road you will find love, you will see the faces of your children as they enter the world, you will see them grow, you will grow closer and closer to your beloved and to God and when it's done you will go home with Jesus - every day a new tomorrow filled with joy unimaginable and nothing the devil can do to you will take that away from you.

 - T. King © 2014

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