Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Life Happens - Are You Ready?
by Erik Momsen
For the most part the lives for middle class people is a collection of humdrum work, a little play and minor irritations. Most of us seldom do anything out of the ordinary, meaningful or exciting. It is as if life is laid out for us and it nudges us from one day into the next.
I was recently following a marked out hike through a riverbed tracing the white painted route markers. I realized that our lives mimic this process of mindlessly following white foot prints and we seldom make our own path. It is only when the little footprints disappear that we have to make our own way and the hike becomes something real, exciting and challenging.
When the white foot markers disappear we need to reach deeper into ourselves. We believe that our path through life will be smooth and that "nothing will happen to me". This is not true. I have discovered personally that life has many dangers on route that are mostly unexpected and can prove painful and destructive.
Some years ago I was diagnosed with a life threatening condition that made me stop in my tracks. In my happy little frame of mind the news from the doctor almost resulted in me asking him not to joke about such serious matters. A moment later I realized that he was not joking. From this event I learned a few truths first hand:
Life as we know it can stop painfully and suddenly.
- Many fall ill suddenly, lose loved ones to death or infidelity or prison. We think it will never happen to me - but something will. All of us will die - often before it is convenient. We will all get ill. We all will suffer loss of some form.
The loss of my own life is really not an issue to me
- Very soon after the doctor gave me the news I realized that much of what I preach will now be tested in my own heart. Very soon I knew that the eternal life the Bible speaks about is in fact fixed deep in my soul and that my own death holds no fear for me. Paul's words are true for me: '"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.' 1 Corinthians 15:55
- Those who have Jesus do not fear death.
- Death has lost its threat.
- The law shows us our sin and sin pushes us to our death.
- But with the law and then sin removed, death has no power.
- We have Jesus and hence victory over death.
- Therefore stand firm, let nothing move you - and get on with the Kingdom work.
I must admit that at that moment I felt a little cheated because my hope of preaching until I am 85 years old seemed to be ended.
The pain comes from leaving loved ones behind
- The real challenge of faith lies in thinking that one might not be there to give your loved ones the provision, support and protection they need. The challenge is, do I trust God well enough to know that He will take care of all their needs when I am not around? Faith is relying on God when I am not able to do something in my own strength.
The peace of God, which transcends all understanding
My own death might not have been a problem, but I was troubled at leaving my family behind. A few days after the news I called on two older, wiser men of God to pray and lay hands on me. The faith in their prayer and the peace of God lifted any further doubt. The issue was completely settled at that moment. Weeks later when the specialist phoned with the second set of results I was surprised as to why he had called. I was not anxious or even mindful that other results were still outstanding. The peace which God gives is beyond understanding and even description:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6,7)
You cannot prevent bad things from happening but you can, at this point, start preparing your heart and mind. Faith is something that is built up over a lifetime and needs dedicated prayer, scripture reading and meditation. Mostly a Holy Spirit inspired focus on Jesus as the foundation upon which we stand.
Date Added: 2011-07-12
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