“He’s dead.” Mercifully that kind of statement in the pre-dawn hour of the day doesn’t come too often. Today, however, it came. I’ve been wandering in and out of my senses ever since. I’ve been dealing with matters of life and death for many years now – mostly, life, if I had to do an informal survey. I mostly help people grapple with and handle the fast-balls and curve-balls and sliders that come in their lives. Sometimes, I help others make sense of death. Today, it’s been my turn.
Providentially, Baxter’s reason #3 for turning to God without delay has to do with recognizing from what we turn. We turn from the devil, from the vain and fleeting hopes of this world and from the seductions inspired by our own flesh. I’ll cite him in a moment but as the wave of death washes over me today, I am speechlessly thankful that though the salt of this wave stings the wound in my heart (and that of my family), I do not grieve without hope. In fact, I know how this story ends. It’s like re-watching a really sad movie and experiencing that acute sadness while knowing how it ends. It doesn’t really lessen the sadness, it just gives it purpose. The Bible tells us that to be one with Jesus Christ by faith means we will grieve for only a time and the grief caused by our enemies: death, the devil and our flesh, will give way to joy. God promised.
Consider also from what you are called to turn; and then judge whether there be any reason of delay. It is from the devil, your enemy; from the love of a deceitful world, from the seductions of corrupted brutish flesh; it is from sin the greatest evil. What is there in sin that you should delay to part with it? Is there any good in it? Or what hath it ever done for you that you should love it? Did it ever do you good? Or did it ever do any man good? It is the deadly enemy of Christ and you that caused his death and will cause yours and is working for your condemnation, if converting and pardoning grace prevent it not….It is cause of all the miseries of the world, of all the sorrows that ever did befall you and the cause of the damnation of them that perish; and do you delay to part with it?
Oh, heaven soon.