Something More Profound ( by Carley Evans )

English: The typical zombie. Esperanto: La tip...

Is living just avoiding death? Watching AMC’s “THE WALKING DEAD”, you’d think that’s all life is — the avoidance of dying. Survivors of a massive ‘disease’ flee the resultant zombies, continually aware that at any moment death or living death may win out.

For those of us who reside in reality, at some point in life illness comes and we begin to fight to stay alive. Perhaps from birth to death, we live primarily to avoid dying.

But, didn’t Jesus say He comes to earth to give us life — and not only life, but abundant life? Is the abundant life only a life consisting of avoidance of injury and pain and illness and death? We may well attempt to avoid these events, but obviously we are not successful. Still, we may claim to have the abundant life despite the inclusion of injury, pain, illness and yes — eventually physical death. God tells us in His Word that death is defeated, having lost its sting and its victory.

This is the victory — resurrection from the dead and life eternal with the Lord. This victory over death is not akin to the life of the walking dead. We are not zombies. We are not angels. We are the children of God, chosen in eternity for eternity.

To God be the glory!


Death by Surprise ( by Carley Evans )

Yesterday, almost immediately after merging onto I-26 West towards Asheville, North Carolina my eye caught the wave of an upraised arm of a completely stopped motorcyclist. I yelled at our driver, “they’re stopped!” and once again as I perceived we were still moving forward into the stopped traffic.

We stopped and watched in the rearview mirrors as traffic behind us also stopped. We heard a siren and one after another came the emergency vehicles – first a fire engine, then 5 ambulances, then a police car, and finally 2 wrecker tow trucks with long empty flat-beds. Lastly, a red helicopter landed at the crest of the hill.

Needless to say, people were seriously injured or even killed in this multiple vehicular accident.

Death surprises us.

We do not know when death is coming, except in rare cases. Death usually just shows up unexpectedly. It comes disguised as a long illness sometimes and gives some warning in this way but it still surprises most times.

Today if you hear God’s voice, don’t only hear Him; also heed Him. His invitation is meant for you; and His gift is really only a gift. There’s no catch 22 — His present is free. And any attached strings are easy to handle! Don’t allow death to get the best of you! Give yourself to God when He calls.

Jesus Weeps

Imagine — see in your mind’s eye — Jesus at the site of the burial of one of His best friends, Lazarus. Jesus is feeling the loss, and knows the pain of Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary. Fully human, Jesus’ emotions are torn. He’s waited several days since hearing of Lazarus’ death before coming to the grave. Now He stands beside Mary. She’s crying. The Jews who are there with her to support her are also crying. Everyone is weeping; Jesus also weeps with them.

Jesus allows Himself the human luxury of sadness, of grief. Yes, luxury. If you’ve ever needed to cry and found yourself unable to do so, you know what I mean by the ‘luxury of sadness, of grief.’ Jesus cries.

Jesus is also subject to the criticism of the friends of Lazarus. Some of them want to know why Jesus did not “keep this man from dying.” (John 11:37, ESV)

Of course, Jesus does the opposite — He allows His friend to die, then raises him from the dead, calling him forth from the grave. Then, Jesus, Lazarus, Mary and Martha celebrate. Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with an expensive ointment, wiping them with her hair. And, Jesus knows the joy of fellowship and friendship.

Lord God, our father and brother, thank You for friendship. Thank You for allowing us to serve You and one another in love, love capable of knowing both suffering and joy. In Jesus’ Name, amen.