This year has been saturated with weddings and funerals. I mean, I know people get married and people die, but it sure seems like it’s been more than usual lately. The intensity of all the mixed rejoicing and grieving (both of which accompany either event) has been looping through my mind and is causing me to ponder life even more.
Life. Is it a gift? When difficult circumstances arise and setbacks occur, I think we mistakenly view our existence as a curse. When times are good and our routine is peachy, we think “Man, I was born to be alive!” (Insert a little Patrick Hernandez here.)
To every person who has ever existed on earth, the gift of life has been given. And to those who have accepted God’s grace and salvation, the gift of eternal life has been given; they now also have a future and a hope.
But even earthly life is a gift. It is not anything we deserve or something to which we are entitled. God’s gift of life–this blessed, vibrant, communal existence–is far too easily taken for granted.
Earthly life is very short, however. In this small pocket of time, we are given the choice to continue our existence in a far greater and more wonderful place. Consequently, we can also refuse the offer and allow death to overtake us completely. When we die in our human flesh, we will be sealed away from God, never to experience life or grace or goodness again.
Like I said, life is a gift.
It’s a taste of home, more or less; it’s a glimpse of God’s glory displayed and His love portrayed. We see it in the physical creation of human bodies: the design, the intricacy, the way blood and oxygen operate. We see it in the earthly landscapes: the depth of the oceans, the vast mountain terrains, the storms and the winds and the clouds. We hear it in music, we see it in facial expressions, we feel it in a familiar embrace. We experience joy in celebrating the union of a man and woman pledging their lives to each other and to God; we also feel the wretching pain as a loved one is torn away from us, yet rejoice knowing they are in the presence of our heavenly Father.
When Jesus came to earth, He experienced life in the physical realm. He was born, He lived, He died. He exemplified His heavenly heritage in this world, and after finishing His work He returned home to His Father.
We are given but a small taste of home, yet it is more than enough.
“Jesus said…’I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?'”
– John 11:25-26
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 6:23