Life is final. There are no do-overs. There are no mulligans. The consequences are real. The stakes are high. When we are young, we don't realize it. Then over the course of our lives, we experience pain and agony. Life becomes real. We make mistakes that cost real money, real friendships, real relationships. We get betrayed. We love and lose. We mourn grandparents, parents, friends, acquantainces, and others.
Then we begin to understand that we are marching toward death. Everyone we know is. Our children are. Our parents are. We get to a point where we know that before too long we will be the one in the wheelchair struggling to remember our own children.
Some people respond by ignoring reality. They choose not to think about what their own thoughts are screaming. Others embrace the pessism that seems built into us. They will resign all life and dignity to hopelessness.
What is the believer in Christ to do?
We must feel deeply.
Hiding from reality is dishonest. It doesn't help. Every generation that has come before has also passed away. We will be no different. Reality is filled with loss and tragedy and pain. We do ourselves no favors by ignoring it. Even, "Jesus wept."
Rather, we must mourn the fleeting days. We must hate the relentless march of Alzheimer's. We despise the blitzkrieg of heart disease. We abhor the cankor of cancer. We view it as the evil enemy that it is.
We do not go silently into the night of death. We hate it, and we fight, because we were made to live. We were made to love. We were made to live in relationships with others. And we will not give up easily.
We must look to Him.
To face our circumstances honestly is honorable. Yet it is also hopeless. I will fight against death. I will fight to live. But I will lose one day. So will you. So will every single person that you have ever known on the face of the earth. We can embrace life (and we should), but we will be in the same plight as the secular individual who also embraces life.
Let us then not just embrace life. Let us embrace the Life---the one who gives life. The One who has promised to defeat death and has already done so.
We need Someone outside of our circumstances.
We need Jesus.