When you get that reprieve something else happens as well. The next few days, weeks, even years if you allow it to last that long, are sweeter than ever. You revel in those evenings when you can still walk hand in hand around your garden, throw tennis balls for the dogs to chase, or pick wildflowers to fill an empty vase on the countertop. You understand that an exciting life has nothing to do with going places or having things, but rather in being together for as long as possible. And you find yourself bewildered when those around you don’t get it; when they magnify petty grievances or imagined slights into relationship-breaking arguments or silences. What is wrong with these people, you find yourself thinking. Why does it take a tragedy to make us behave like mature adults?
All of us face spiritual emergencies. All of us struggle with temptations, with suffering, and with trials. Sometimes we come through those trials in good shape physically. Other times we may suffer disabilities, the loss of status or worldly goods, the loss of loved ones, even the loss of our own physical lives.
Our souls often lie behind the curtains in a spiritual emergency room. The Great Physician stands over us, comforting us, assuring us that He understands and has, in fact, borne the same woes on His shoulders. He has everything we need to get through this, including the most wonderful prognosis of all.
It will keep us from bitterness because we know that these things are only temporal and fleeting, whether it feels that way right now or not. It will keep us from drowning in sorrow because we know we will see the one we have lost again. It will keep us from throwing our faith away in a moment of despair because, when we believe his words, hope rises to conquer even the forces of Satan.
There is nothing quite like the feeling when He looks into your eyes and says, “You’ll live.”
And the witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who has not the Son of God has not the life. These things have I written unto you that you may know that you have eternal life, unto you who believe on the name of the Son of God, 1 John 5:11-13.