“I Had a Dream”
Yes, I know where the quote comes from, but the idea originated in a dream, and then I couldn't get the thought out of my mind after I woke up. An alternative title could be:
A Life Sentence
Although I do not put any stock in dreams in this era, this devotional really did start with a brief dream, but the thoughts stuck with me after I awoke. In the dream, I was sitting in a hospital room getting a diagnosis from a doctor. It was not good: I had terminal cancer, and as far as he was concerned, I could drop dead any moment. My reaction was definitely not what the doctor expected. I have no fear of death, and I know that the day of my death rests squarely in God's hands.
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27
I told the doctor as much and said that I understood, but that God has is the one who appointed the day of my death, and it could be weeks or years. It looked like the doctor thought I was just in denial to his reality of the situation. My husband then walks into the room and the doctor was just giving him the diagnosis when I woke up.
As I lay awake in bed pondering my reaction in the dream, I was at peace. It truly was a reflection of how I view death, or rather, my home-going. How can I say that, you may ask? One can never know their reaction till they really are face to face with death, but you see I have been there; twice. As a 13 year old girl with a life threatening disease, and as an adult being rushed to the ER at the hospital before my appendix burst. In neither situation was I agitated about dying. I would be going home! Why would I be agitated!
This is the reality of life and death for a child of God: God knows exactly when we are going to die. For me, it could be while I'm writing this devotional, or 40 years from now. The only thing that changes when given a terminal illness diagnosis from a doctor is that the doctor now believes he can pinpoint it more precisely. For us, there is no concern for the hereafter:
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,(51) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.(53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.(55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56)The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57)But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1Corinthians 15:51
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." 2Corinthians 5:8
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1
There's no such thing as being "good enough." It's not about what we can do, but what God has already done, through His own sacrifice on the cross of Calvary to pay the penalty of sin for us: condemned sinners. Because of what Jesus did, I can stand before the Lord as a forgiven sinner – His child! There is no greater blessing in this life, or the next, than to have one's sins forgiven.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:2
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:5-7
If you do not have this blessed assurance, or have any kind of doubts, I beg you to read God's Simple Plan of Salvation.