September 7

Psalm 116:1-5

“The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.” vs. 3

It’s possible for some to live in this world without giving much thought to the passage of time or the inevitability of death. In fact most folks don’t care one bit to dwell on the prospect of dying–they’d much rather talk of something else. But realistically, sooner or later, whether through our own experience or that of a loved one, we’re bound to consider end of life scenarios. The psalmist had endured such a moment. A dread illness had seized him and the prospect of death loomed large; he had suffered distress and anguish. That’s not an uncommon reaction. Most of us would much rather live and so we’ll do anything to hold death at bay, at least until we’ve lived to a ripe old age. So when death does come near it’s perfectly natural to offer protests to God and check out any possibilities for thwarting our enemy. We turn to oncologists and surgeons, miracle drugs and therapies, and submit to every kind of treatment, all in the hope of continuing to live. It’s what we do as humans, even if we believe in eternal life. And then one day, at least for some, there comes a time when they come to grips with their own mortality, and death loses its power to torment and terrify. It’s a huge blessing when such a moment arrives. Not only do we lose our fear, we gain a fresh appreciation for whatever life remains!

Thought for the Day: How am I approaching death?

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