Saturday, May 18, 2019

Running from Death

Photo by Dr Richard Murray 2008
In this dream, I was walking through the corridors of a hospital, as I had a dreaded appointment to get a medical test result. The dim fluorescent lighting, antiseptic smell, and looks of sadness and worry on the faces of people I passed all added to the dark, heavy feeling of oppression. There were no windows to give any sense of time of day or location. Artificially pleasant voices over the loudspeaker, even when announcing “Code Blue” or other disasters, made me feel as if I were stranded and jet-lagged in an international airport. 

I entered the doctor’s office, a small cubicle lit only by an X-ray viewbox covered in chest films. In the corner sat a forlorn woman dressed plainly in black, hunched over, not lifting her eyes from her gnarled hands twisting nervously in her lap. The doctor, a handsome and distinguished man in an expensive tailored suit, offered me a chair, nodded toward the X-rays and began to explain the apparently dismal situation.

The news was not good, he said with a façade of compassion nearly undermining his professional authority. My heart was doomed to failure. But he had the solution to the problem and the cure for the disease, if I would put my trust in him. The answer was inside myself, and he could help unlock it.

What frightened me most was what he did not say. I wondered what would be the cost of his cure, in terms of time, money, pain and suffering.

Suddenly the woman in the corner sat bolt upright with a shudder. “I feel a very cold chill in this room,” she said.

With that I realized that the “doctor” was actually evil and death; that his “cure” was eternal misery and damnation; and that what he was offering was nothing but lies and hatred disguised as truth and good will.

I scrambled to my feet and ran out of the office as fast as I could, not once looking back. I tore through the tangled maze of dark hallways in search of the light, and as I ran faster, the light grew brighter and more intense. A refreshing breeze chased away the stale odor of sickness, and I felt my lungs expanding more fully and my heart beating stronger with every breath.

As I awoke from the dream I was surprised that I was not in a state of panic, as I had been with other dreams in which I was running away from danger. Instead, I was exhilarated, thrilled to be alive and running the race God had set before me.

Since the fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3), every person is born with a terminal heart condition – namely our sin nature. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), and if left to plot its own destiny, it will continually choose sinful thoughts and actions to fulfill lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17; Ephesians 2:3; 1 Peter 2:11; 4:2). This course of action may seem right to us, for we fail to realize that it leads to death and destruction (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25)

But the devil tries to convince us, with his lies cloaked in a thin veneer of truth, to follow our heart. If it feels right, it must be, he reasons. Why should we thwart desires so intense? Why would a kind, loving God not want us to have what we crave, and even what should be rightfully ours, were He not so demanding?  The devil promises everything – knowledge, happiness, fame, fortune, status – but all he delivers is delusion, sorrow, shame, and poverty of spirit – and ultimately death (John 8:44).

The devil’s way is not worth the cost, for what do we stand to profit if we enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25). or try to gain the world and lose our soul? (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36)

The only Great Physician is Jesus Christ. He is the Healer of our heart (Psalm 147:3), our balm in Gilead (Jeremiah 8:22). He cleanses our dying heart from its sin sickness and lets the blood of His righteousness course through our veins (Romans 3:23-26).

He alone has defeated death and hell (2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14-15), so that we need not fear being separated for long from our loved ones who die in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54-56). He will never forsake us nor leave us (Hebrews 13:5) in the valley of the shadow of death, but He will safely carry us through death to live with Him forever (Psalm 23:4).

The Light of His Word (Psalm 119:105) shows us the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Once we turn from our sin and allow Him to enter our heart through our faith in His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven, He gives us eternal, abundant life (John 3:16; 10:10).

If we keep our eyes fixed on Him (Matthew 14:28-31), and not wandering back to the world of the devil’s temptations (James 4:7; Genesis 13:12-13), He will give us strength, speed and stamina to run the race (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1). Christ will keep our feet on the right path that leads to high and heavenly places (2 Samuel 22:34; Psalm 18:33), by way of spreading His Gospel of peace (Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15). 

His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). With each detour and setback our faith grows, for He proves Himself to be faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9: 10:13). 

Our hearts can be filled with joy and peace as we follow the course He has planned for us, knowing that as we cross the finish line, a great cloud of witnesses will be cheering us on (Hebrews 12:1). He Himself will wipe the sweat from our brow and every tear from our eyes (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 7:17; 21:4) as He places the victor’s crown on our heads (James 1:12) and says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  (Matthew 25:21-23)

What a day that will be when we truly realize that Jesus has permanently defeated death and that we no longer need to run away from death, for we have run straight into His waiting arms!

© 2012 Laurie Collett 
Reposted from the archives 


Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
Hospitals are on the forefront of our minds at the moment as my wife undergoes various tests, including a mammogram, X-rays, ultrasound scan, and later this week she is due to have a biopsy as well, all to determine whether she might have breast cancer, after her mother had suffered from it.
This doctor in your dream is certainly an interesting figure. Well attired in business suit and tie, he commands respect, and alongside this, your trust. Then again, if "the King of Tyre" of Ezekiel 28 is anything to go by, Lucifer was indeed the very peak of all God's created beauty.
And as you say, he will offer education, social status, wealth, even good health, and anything else you desire - only don't do God's will which is to come to Jesus through faith in him.
A brilliant and very enlightening post. God bless.
p.s. Wishing you a happy birthday. I hope you have a great day.

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie, nice post,
the devil is a thief and a liar and invades our carnal minds. However, the Lord warns us in dreams and the Word that we act upon, not just hear, is the Word of God spoken through the mind of Christ to us as individuals daily.
God bless Laurie as we trust in the Lord with all our heart.

Donald Fishgrab said...

Great post, Laurie.

Satan's promises always seem to be wrapped in a beautiful package full of rocks and garbage, while God's offer is like a gold ring wrapped up in a a piece of a paper bag. What matters is not the packaging looks like, but what is inside. Too many people focus on the packaging.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
You and Alex are in my prayers for good results from her testing.
We truly need to be sober and vigilant, for the devil can so easily disguise himself and his demons as ministers of light, all the while seeking our destruction.
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! We had a blessed day, which included my singing a special in church and having dinner with our son and daughter in law, followed by a couple of days at the beach (hence my late reply to your comment)!
God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
Praise the Lord that He indwells us through His Holy Spirit, Who teaches us His Word as we study it and gives us access to the mind of Christ. Although the devil tries to steal our joy and peace, praise God that He Who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.
God bless you,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald, for your comment and encouragement! Great analogy! May we value God's true gifts and recognize that all good things come only from Him. The world and the devil will never give us anything of worth, only heartache and lies, no matter what the wrapping looks like.
God bless,

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