We have the non-perishables, flash lights, extra batteries, a meeting plan, Hello Hurricane queued up in the play list, etc. all in preparation for Hurricane Irene. Did you secure all those potential outdoor projectiles? Are you ready?
“Stahm’s comin’” is a one liner from the movie Shutter Island from the captain of the vessel when DeCaprio’s character is headed to the island as a “federal officer.” It is a storm that we can see just like Irene. The technology to get a really good look is incredible. It would be easy to sit in front of the TV and just watch. People will make there way down to the shore, risking their lives to experience the storm. (We could even talk about DeCaprio’s character’s internal storm…..and how prophetic that one liner is in the movie, maybe another time. Perhaps if I watch the movie again, it is very disturbing – psychological thriller.)
There is another way that we need to be prepared and some of us have already made this preparation, others don’t see any need for preparation and still others say things like, “Time to say your prayers.” “Better get right with your Maker. People are going to die in this one and you might be one of them.” The truth is we all face death every day. Unless, you have a date with the Executioner (for heinous crime or by your own hand) then none of us knows when we will die. It leads to one of those philosophical questions that most human being ask at some point in their life – what happens when I die? Which of course leads to other questions.
For the purpose of this blog post, I want to ask the question this way of myself and give my answer, “Are you ready to die?” The short answer is Yes. Of course, this is answered on the presupposition that there is an after life (for me Eternal), all mankind will face judgment, there is a God who is altogether loving and altogether just, sin and death are real and because of Jesus Christ there is HOPE.
Just the other day, I was in a conversation about facing death and refrained from saying anything, without biting my tongue, just listening and praying silently. Leaving I was a caught in the middle of an internal dialogue that was not meant for that meeting. There was definitely not enough time.
It is probably not my time to die, but if it is I am ready. With tremendous gratitude, I stand having had my sins paid for by the blood of Christ believing with my heart that at the Cross Jesus conquered sin! Only by the Righteousness of Jesus Christ am I able to face and stand in the Loving Presence of a Holy God. In every other belief system, I must “get right” with my Maker, and ONLY in True Christianity am I MADE right by the FINISHED work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross. I said it myself before I knew such LOVE, such GRACE, such an outpouring of Mysterious Mercy – “So what?” which is why I need to qualify my YES.
The forgiveness of sins is only part of this Eternal Perspective. Christ Jesus did not just conquer sin but death as well. He did not remain in the grave, but He beat death by the power of God, raised Himself from the dead and is today The Resurrection and The Life. Those who die in Christ will also live and be raised up with Him. This is not to say that I would just lie down and die. There is so much more of life that I want to experience! With everything in me I will fight to live but while I fight, I will not fear death because of Christ Jesus the One who has given me Eternal Life. This is why; I will say with the prophet, Isaiah, “You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trust in you.”
Those of us who believe can cry out to Our Father in Heaven, protect us through the storm, be our peace, and give us grace. We trust you LORD, not only the Maker of Heaven and Earth, but also Sovereign LORD of both. Not to test nature but in trusting God we can say, “bring it Irene, we are ready!”