READINGOld Testament: Daniel 9:3-10
Psalms: Psalms 63, 98, 103
New Testament: Hebrews 2:10-18
Gospel: John 12:44-50
DEVOTIONAL“…For He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, He flourishes like a flower of the field; The wind blows over it and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting The Lord’s love is with them who fear him….” (Psalm 103:14-17)
On my 60th birthday I was in the ER, and a few days later, I was in ICU in a coma. I remember gradually coming out of the coma to see all the machines around me that kept track of every possible vital sign. I thought I should get a picture of this; I had never seen so many screens and wires and tubes. I thought I was in the pilot seat of a jumbo jet. And then I started to realize what happened to me, and I tried to remember where I had just come from. This was really frightening. All I could remember of my experience was a pure, silent darkness….nothingness.
This horrified me. Is this death? Is this what I have to look forward to, an eternity of dark nothingness? I cherished the white of clouds, the green of grass, the feel of a breeze, the expansive horizon with mountains, rocks, trees and rivers. What could possibly be the purpose of life if in the end all these pleasures are revoked forever?
I held onto this fear and frustration for days. And then, somehow, one day this gloom was completely eradicated. I realized that before I came into this world there was God’s love. And for this brief moment in eternity while I am here alive, the Lord’s love stays with me, and I will do all I can to explore and share this love. Finally, when I am no longer in this world, I feel the love of God will continue just as it was before I was born. I am convinced I will continue to exit in His love. I should not worry about the end of this life; instead I should cherish the realization that from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with me.
I regret that it took such a harrowing experience to bring me to this realization, but now I am thankful for each new day and also for the warmth of His love that I feel will be there when these days are no more. I no longer consider the darkness of death.