The Land of the Living
Some sage has wisely observed:
“We often speak of ourselves as those who are in the land of the living. In fact, we dwell in the land of the dying, and should be looking forward to someday entering the land of the living, who shall never die again.”
I like that statement! It is in harmony with what the Bible teaches. None of us would question the reality of our mortality. We know from both observation and from scripture that, “It is appointed unto men once to die” (Heb 9:27)
But have you ever been in a situation, where you thought you might possibly be very near death? If so, you can probably recall what a profound and sobering impact that can produce. Priorities drastically change. There is a sudden recognition of what is really important in life. There may also be a sense of urgency to take care of matters that have been neglected.
The more the years whiz by, the better we understand what God has told us:
- life is like a vapor, that appears briefly, and then vanishes (Jas 4:14)
- our days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle (Job 7:6)
- we come forth like a flower and are cut down (Job 14:2)
- our days vanish like smoke (Psa 102:3)
Such thoughts may be disturbing to many people, but if the hope of eternal life is real to us, we can say with the apostle Paul: “To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain . . . I do not know which to choose . . . having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better.” (Phil 1:21-23)
It would benefit every Christian to constantly realize that we are in the land of the dying, looking forward to the land of the living.