Cheating Death...

I'm afraid to die.

Afraid of what it will look like, when it will happen, how it will feel, how those I leave behind will manage. I know that death is a part of life and that, as a believer, it isn't the end so much as a transition of going from this life to standing in front of Jesus as quickly as my next breath. Still...it scares me and every day I run from it; fill my life with things and tasks and people and words to try to keep the reaching claw of it at bay.

A couple of days ago I was reading this blog post and I was struck by the author's words:

But we all cheat death every day, don’t we? We cheat it by crafting beauty, or loving someone, or making new life; sometimes we cheat it just by leaving the gun in the drawer, the liquor in the cabinet, the hateful word in our bellies.

We are all of us cheating death, right up to the very end, and then, by the grace of God, beyond that end. The first Adam was the death-bringer, the second Adam is the death-cheater, and now here are you and me, each of us faced every moment with the choice about which we will be, who we will be.

I get so worried about the pain of physical death that I forget how quickly my heart can die too; with a word, a look, an act. Death-bringers, indeed. And that every time I move in love towards Michael or my children; every time I create something with my hands or speak life into someone ~ every time I receive the same from another ~ I cheat death and my heart shines a little brighter.

In her book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp says, "Out of the dark, tender life unfurled. Out of my own inner pitch, six human beings emerged, new life, wet and fresh. All new life labors out of the very bowels of darkness. Darkness transfigures into light, bad transfigures into good, grief transfigures into grace, empty transfigures into full. God wastes nothing."

Did you see that? Nothing wasted. No thing. And I realize, in my saner moments when I'm not freaking out about the inevitable, that I've cheated death many many times; sexual abuse, abandonment, illness, death, marriage...each experience moving from a place of complete, throat-clogging darkness to a redemption so sweet I'd swear He had it fixed all along. He's like that, you know?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeramiah 29:11

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