Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Best Story Ever

James 4:14 Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 

My mom recently passed into the Lord’s presence at the age of 95.  In a few more weeks she would have been 96.  Up until the last few years she had been able to enjoy life.  She could read, cook, converse intelligently and pretty much take care of herself.  She raised nine living children.  She had heartaches since she buried two daughters who died young.  She had joys.  But her life is over.  It was a long life and a healthy life by our standards: but as far as James is concerned, it was little more than the vapor that rises from a boiling tea kettle that vanishes so quickly.

I have been looking at different people’s gravestones.  In many cases, they include the year of the person’s birth and the year of the person’s death with a dash in between.  Think of it, a person’s whole life can be represented by a dash.  A person may have been rich and lived a life of luxury, but ultimately all that is left is that dash.  A person may have died with the most toys, but ultimately all that is left is that dash.  A person may have lived in poverty and there too all that is left is that dash.  That dash has been kind of depressing me lately.  The good, the bad, and the ugly all come to the same end.  What is life all about, anyway?

If I our existence is over when we take our last breath, then obviously making the most of this earthly life should probably be our goal.  We should eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we must die.  But wouldn’t that be a dismal life?  No matter how long and enjoyable life is, no matter what a person accomplishes, no matter how many children a person has, ultimately the totality of that person’s existence would be represented by that dash.

I am glad that I believe that there is more to our existence that this life.  Man does not have the ability to explain where we came from and where we go after we die.  When we listen to the learned pontificate on this issue, I just remind myself that they haven’t died yet and so their opinion is no better than mine.  But there is a person who came from heaven and who went back to heaven who can make sense of that dash that represents life.  He tells us that He loves us even though we are by nature separated from Him by sin.  He calls Himself Jesus and He says He is God.  Witnesses tell me that He was raised from the dead after His crucifixion.  And He says that through faith in Him and His death we can prepare for an existence that will never be summed up by a dash.  That existence is called eternal life.  It begins the moment we trust the Lord and it continues throughout the endless of ages of eternity.  For a person like that, when they die, they go to be with the Lord which is far better than the dash that represents this life (See Philippians 1:23).  I don’t know all that is involved in eternal life, but I know that it is going to be marvelous.  To see the Lord, to see angels worshiping Him, to be in a place where there is no more sin, death, sickness or sorrow, now that will be heaven.  That is what is in store for those who sought the Lord and found Him during their short time here on earth. 

For those who reject the Lord, well now that is going to be another story and I don’t have to tell you that that story does not end well.  Mom’s life is over.  A new chapter in her existence is just starting and that story is a story she cannot presently tell us.  But the Lord gives us a glimpse of that story on the mount of transfiguration.  Paul gives us a little glimpse when he tells us of being caught up into the third heaven and witnessing things that He was not allowed to tell us.  All I know is that mom’s story has not ended, But because she trusted the Lord and had her sins forgiven while she was struggling with life down here, her story is going to continue unfolding for ever and ever.  Her story is going to be the best story ever.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of September 29, 2013

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