Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Different Courage

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise ...I Th 4: 16

My fellow in training was standing next to me when I told Cynthia that we could not cure her cancer. “I know,” she said. “I am not afraid to die. I know that the Lord has prepared a place for me.” As we left the room, I prayed that the Lord would burn that picture into my fellow’s heart as I continue to pray for ways to bring him to Christ.

There is something compelling about a Christian who faces disaster. I have watched many of my patients who have no spiritual faith approach death with courage, but it always seems to be the courage of resignation. Cynthia’s courage, like that of many other Christians I have known, is different; in her I see a courage grounded in hope. Rather than a resignation to the understanding that all things must end, Cynthia is confident that she is headed somewhere. Instead of emptiness ahead, she is moving toward someone who loves her, someone she can trust, someone who will take her hand as she steps over death and lead her into a life worth living. This understanding of life might certainly appear foolish to my fellow, as it should to someone who has no faith in God’s love and eternity. But I cannot imagine that even the most ardent of atheists could have looked into Cynthia’s eyes at that moment and not wished that her words were true. Thank God that they are.

Dear God,
Thank you that our goal in life is You and that life with You will last forever. Amen.

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