Monday, November 13, 2017

Living, Dying, Fighting to Live, and Healing

Living, Dying, Fighting to Live, and Healing

This post is by Sam Smith, our Chatsworth Campus Pastor.  Sam recently endured a life-threatening health situation that God used to work powerfully in his life.

Holy Spirit, please lead me to write my thoughts on living, dying, fighting to live, and healing.

4 ways God heals:

  1. Supernatural – healing that cannot be explained
  2. Our body – fighting infection with fever and white blood cells
  3. Medical – God giving knowledge to doctors 
  4. Dying (for a Jesus follower) – healing in the most complete way by God

A recent survey was completed.  The results are in.  100 out of 100 people die.  Dying is part of living.  

The question every person must ask is “How will I die?”
This is a personal question for me.  A couple of months ago I embraced death.  I welcomed death.  The words “I want to die!” came out of my mouth.  In my mind, the pain I was experiencing was out of my control, and death would be a relief from the pain.  I raised my hands in worship of my King and welcomed death.

Death is often an uncomfortable topic.  I tried to protect my family from my most inner thoughts of death.  The key word there is “tried”.  In my most painful moments, the transparency of my heart came out of my mouth.  In one of those most physically painful times, I begged God to call my name (to die).  In the next breath, I conversed with the Holy Spirit.  “If You don’t call my name, I will fight to live.”  I shared this with my family.  About one week later in a surgery recovery room at Emory Hospital, my friend, Pain, came again with a vengeance.  Again I was begging my God for death.  I was welcoming death.  I wanted to die with everything in me.  At this point, my wife, Kimm, came in the recovery room.  Kimm reminded me of my talk with Holy Spirit.  “If You don’t call my name, I will fight to live.”  I cannot explain what happened next.  The only word that comes to mind is “peace.”  At that moment and the days to follow, I experienced unexplainable peace.  My friend, Pain, was still present; however, the peace of God was greater.
This experience has guided me to ask many questions.  I found answers in God’s word.

Philippians 1
20 My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
21 For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose.    23 I am pressured by both. I have the desire to depart and be with Christ—which is far better— 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am persuaded of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that, because of me, your confidence may grow in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27 Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. 

Ecclesiastes 3
There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to give birth and a time to die;

What I learned and am continuing to learn:

  1. Life is a gift! – “God is love!”
  2. Death is a gift! – “so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
  3. Living is for Christ! – “Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
  4. Sometimes one has to fight to live! – “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” 

Finally, I think Paul says it best when he writes to his spiritual son, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:1
But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses.

As I reflected on the last few months, writing my thoughts on death and living seemed to be therapeutic.   This may sound crazy, but I thank God for the journey of healing, living, fighting to live, and dying.  The Holy Spirit never left me!  I was never abandoned in what was my darkest storm.  My prayer is that my personal reflections on my journey will encourage and minister to others during their own life storms.

“For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.”


Post a Comment