Last week was a very difficult week for me personally. It felt like the perfect storm where all things surrounding me had spiraled desperately out of control. I fell into despair and wondered where God was in the midst of each of these situations. It was a very dark place for me, and for a time, I forgot that our battle in this world is not against flesh and blood but “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12). We are in a spiritual battle and I failed to recognized that I was standing in the line of fire. I was listening to the lies of Satan about me and about each of these situations, and it felt overwhelming and depressing.
And as I cried out loud, “Please help me God, where are you??” I saw Him reveal Himself in four specific and clear ways throughout the week, even in the middle of my despair. I won’t share about each of them because some are very personal to me. But I did want to share one amazing way God touched me this past week. God led me to a particular sermon by David Platt that I desperately needed to hear.
This past week my dear, sweet Grandad went home to be with the Lord. It was a moment that we knew had been coming for a while. His health had been failing him and his mind was slowly slipping along with it. He lived a wonderful 94 years and was married to my sweet Granny for 65 of those years. I have such precious memories of my Grandad that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
And what permeates through all of those memories is the kindness of a man who loved everyone through the love of Christ. I have never seen a finer example of showing Christ’s love to other people than with my Grandad. He loved and forgave in the manner that Christ calls us to. He was generous in everything to help the least of these, from his work with the prison ministry to giving rides to total strangers because he saw someone’s need. In every decision he made was in his effort to do what was right and kind and loving. He had an inner joy in all things, a joy that was fundamental in his life. I loved my Grandad dearly and deeply grieve that he is no longer with us. And I know that when God received Grandad’s spirit He was able to say, “Well done My good and faithful servant.”
It is in these moments of sorrow and loss that we truly ask what does life really mean. Platitudes and nice clichés will no longer do. We long to define what it is that gives life value. What is it that we are living for? Has what I’ve devoted my time and my life to been worth it? For the Christian, we have a way to answer those questions. We know that the answer to those questions is found in the same person of Jesus. He gives our lives value and it is for Him that we live. He is the answer to all of life’s fundamental questions. It is from Jesus that we have that fundamental joy. For the unbelieving person, you must determine whether your worldview can satisfactorily address those questions. What does your worldview say about pain and sorrow? How does it meet you in your everyday life to determine what is right and wrong or to give life value? Does it give you fundamental joy in the face of momentary sorrows?
But most importantly, for the unbeliever, when you die and stand before the Almighty God, what can you possibly do to make up for a life lived anti-theistically?