“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3, NIV 2011).
We were seeing him in the hospital because his blood counts had dropped, probably nothing serious. As we talked, I learned he was a Korean War veteran and asked him if he was at the Chosin Reservoir, in that “Coldest Winter” where more than 100,000 Chinese poured over the Korean border and drove U.S. soldiers south though cross-fire and frostbite. His wife quipped, “You know they put him in a body bag.”
And they actually had, believing him to be dead—until he woke up and began to shake the bag to come out.
Have you ever felt like life had placed you in a body bag and you woke up crying out, “I’m not dead yet!”
Sometimes our lives drift into lassitude where the spark is gone, our mission has faded, we are hanging around with little joy or purpose, our dreams replaced by diversions: body bag living.
Within our body bags we buy things or do things to light a spark so that we may see and feel alive again, wanting that energy of self-fulfillment to make our lives vital again.
You been there yet?
We know that this desperate drive toward self-fulfillment was never seen in Jesus’ life. When we seek to light that missing spark by acquiring things or experiences or relationships, we do not act like our Lord.
Oswald Chambers put it this way, “Our Lord always preaches anti-self-realization; He is not after developing a man at all; He is after making a man after Himself….The characteristic of the Son of God is not self-realization, but self-expenditure.”
So, when we find ourselves and our dreams in a body bag, rather than trying to fight our way out and build ourselves up with self-centered experiences, we should, like Jesus, consider pouring ourselves out for God and for others. After all, Jesus really was the only man to break free from the wrappings of death. Doing it His way is kind of rational.
Even when my dreams have died, let me not seek to build myself up but to pour you out.