Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life and Death Realities

I have experienced a series of contrasts about life and death this past summer. My nephew married his sweetheart near the shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They stood in front of a beautiful arbor under sunny skies as the water lapped gently onto the shore. That scene reminds me of the blessings of being alive physically and of loving another person.

A few weeks later my husband and I helped to deliver Gospels of John at Hope for Quebec 2008. This summer marked the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. As part of the celebrations, believers from Europe, United States, and Canada united together to help distribute 400,000 Gospels to every household in Quebec City and to many visitors. As a result of this outreach twenty-one people accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. These new Christians not only have physical life now, but also eternal life. They are alive spiritually and belong to God’s family forever. Once they were dead spiritually, but now they are alive.

We cut our time short in Quebec City because of the hospitalization of my mother-in-law. For the next few weeks my husband and I watched her gradually die of congestive heart failure. Death is a horrible reality! It is the visible result of sin in this world. Until Jesus returns, every one of us must face this enemy. Thankfully, the nurses were kind and compassionate. They made sure she was not in distress. My mother-in-law did not fear dying because she knew Jesus. Now she is alive with her Saviour in heaven.

“ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’…But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55, 57).