Immortal Until Called Home

September 14, 2015

Photo: Pinterest

Quite recently, the Christian community around me was blindsided by an enormous tragedy; a young man named Joshua was hit by a car and sent to the hospital in a coma with multiple broken bones and internal bleeding. The doctors weren't hopeful about if he would ever come out of his coma. Immediately word about his accident spread and people everywhere from his home in Taiwan to here in New Jersey were interceding on his behalf; people around the world who had never met or even heard of him were praying for God to work a miracle.

I had never met Joshua, but I soon saw what a radiant beacon of God's love and light he was to all prior to his accident. People would post about him on Facebook, talking about how kind and cheerful he was or about his passion, whether it was for basketball or for Jesus. His girlfriend posted on Joshua's favorite basketball player (and fellow Christian) Jeremy Lin's Facebook page, telling both Jeremy and everyone who would come across it how much Joshua admired him and how when she had a similar accident, he stayed with her in the hospital constantly praying for, encouraging, and singing worship songs with her. Many of my friends knew him personally and could testify to how much he loved Jesus and how he would tirelessly love and serve others the same way Jesus did.

For a while it seemed like Joshua would have a chance to regain consciousness but after many weeks of battling alarmingly low blood pressures and more internal bleeding, God brought him home to heaven. He was going to be a senior in high school. 

With Joshua's passing came so much heartbreak and sadness, but also overwhelming joy; his family and loved ones knew that this goodbye wasn't permanent, that they would see him again brighter and healthier than he ever was on earth. 

Now, I don't know about you, but when I hear stories like this I get a little scared as I'm hit with the frigid reminder of how fragile and fleeting life is; it can increase my already fearful spirit and make me reluctant to do anything or go anywhere at all. Forget about traveling to other countries to serve or becoming a missionary; I'm just going to stay in my house and be safe.

Fear of the unknown and the danger that lies within it can cripple and prevent us from doing what we were put on this earth to do; tell others about a Father who loves them so much that he would sacrifice his only and beloved son so that they wouldn't have to suffer. It's such an important, life-changing message that we don't share because we're afraid. There's a common misconception that we need to be alive in order to do our ministry but that's not the case at all. John Piper, in his book Future Grace, brings up an excellent point, "how you lose your life may be the capstone of your ministry. It certainly was for Jesus, only in his thirties."

Boom. Mindblown. 

While Jesus certainly reached many while he was alive, it's nothing in comparison to all the lives he reached after his time on earth had ended. Thousands of years later, lives are constantly being renewed and restored even after his death. Similarly, it might appear as though Joshua was taken too early, but throughout his life, his accident, and even his passing, he touched, inspired and continues to touch and inspire those around him. 

So why are we do we hold back from telling others about immeasurable joy we have in Jesus? Is it fear of rejection? Fear of having to leave our comfort zone? Fear of possibly dying for our faith? No matter what, there is nothing we can do to prolong our lives; only God knows when our time here on earth is done. Henry Martyn sums it up best when he says, "If [God[ has work for me to do, I cannot die." That's the wonderful thing about serving a sovereign Savior; we are immortal until our work here is done. That's right, immortal

Dear friends, armed with this encouraging promise, there is nothing stopping us from going out into the big, bad world and telling others about Jesus. There is absolutely nothing we cannot do! We were given the lives, communities, and opportunities we have for a reason and we should make the most of what God has given us. We can say goodbye and good riddance to all our fears and reservations and freely and boldly proclaim the goodness of our God.

It'll be difficult to shake off fear, I know it certainly is for me. It might come creeping back, and it probably will, but this here's something for you and I both to remember; we are immortal until called back home to the loving arms of our God.

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