“For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
I can in no way claim to be anything like the Apostle Paul, but I can relate to his statement – if not in whole, then in part.
For me, to live is to care for Gracen, and I desperately want to be there for Gracen, but to die . . . to die is gain.
In our day and age, no one wants to hear that sentiment expressed. Maybe it makes people fearful that I might harm myself, but I wonder if maybe it is more about an individual’s fear that at some point in their life, they might find they desire death over life.
I have an eternal hope.
Death is not something I personally fear.
And neither did the Apostle Paul.
And if . . . if God’s purpose for the latter part of my life is to care for Gracen . . . if that is my ministry and service for Christ, then am I not, in effect saying just as the Apostle Paul did, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”?
Is it spiritual to laud his statement and rebuke mine?
If we as Christians are to be Heavenly minded, is it wrong to long for our eternal home?
Is it wrong to desire Heaven more than we desire this temporary world we currently reside in?
Do we unconsciously believe Paul’s ministry, the ministry of evangelism, is the pursuit of Christ and His desires, whereas ministry to the members of our family or the sick really doesn’t equate to living for Christ?
Is that why my longing for my eternal home is met with admonitions that I must have hope? That it is wrong for me to desire the rapture in order to escape these earthly sorrows?
Is that really wrong?
Does my motivation somehow make my desire impure?
Does God care why I desire Heaven or just that I do?
Does not a longing for my eternal home reflect the deepest trust that I, in fact, have an eternal home waiting for me?
Does it not reflect true faith?
And should I lose it all—should I lose both David & Gracen—what, if anything, would be capable of anchoring my broken heart to this earthly prison?
I know what the answer to that last question should be. I certainly don’t need anyone to educate me with the “correct” response. But what “should be” and “what is” are often two different things. I know that my mind and my emotions will not agree if my worst fears are realized. I know they won’t. They don’t now.
These are questions I ask myself.
Maybe that last question is the reason people so adamantly attempt to cram the necessity of hope down my throat.
Maybe that’s their secret fear too.
Maybe no one knows what would hold enough sway in their individual lives to anchor their souls to this world if they lost everything they value most in this world.
Maybe—God help us all—maybe there is nothing strong enough to do that for any of us.
Maybe that’s where the Holy Spirit steps in and performs a supernatural work in our hearts that enables us to receive God’s all sufficient grace instead of rejecting it in our agony . . . instead of taking action outside of the will of God due to complete despair and utter desperation.
These are thoughts I ponder.
I’d love to know how you answer these questions—if you think these same thoughts.