Adjust story text size:
Last week I had one of those “wakeup” calls that we get periodically. We got word that my brother had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. As it turns out the first diagnosis was rejected for a second and then the Doctor said it was chronic and not acute. That was good news since it has a much happier prognosis. Then yesterday evening we learned that they had changed their minds once again and that now they don’t think it is either but they are going to run yet more tests. All we know for sure is that it has something to do with the bone marrow.
This seems to be good news but we will wait and see. What I do know is that it is a reminder about life. Now my brother is no “spring chicken” as they used to say, but it is easy to be oblivious to how tenuous life can be. We all are. Life hangs by a thread. The Biblical description is a vapor that appears for awhile and then vanishes. As a pastor I deal with these reminders all the time but I still ignore them.
My brother just turned 70. Seems like yesterday we were growing up on the farm together. Those memories are still fresh. But life is brief. We shouldn’t lull ourselves into thinking that we have all the time in the world. We don’t. This is something that we all realize and needs no empirical evidence.
We also realize intuitively that life is precious. We hang on to it even when it is hard. Every time I get to spend time with my grandkids, enjoy a sunrise, look forward to planting garden in the Spring and a thousand other little joys I am reminded that I was made for something greater than I often realize.
Ultimately the good news is that life is in a person. It is in Jesus. To know him is to know Life itself. In John 11 Jesus assured Martha during one of those “wakeup” calls that, “I am the resurrection and the life.[d] Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”
I will ask you the question Jesus asked Martha. Do you believe this?