I hate death, or do I? That’s the question I have been pondering since Sunday afternoon.
I arrived at my normal Sunday afternoon bike club ride and started chatting with the regulars. The weather was gorgeous, finally, and slew of new people were there to enjoy it as well. One regular was missing though. I asked Lee, “Where’s Steve? He didn’t return my texts about riding today.”
“Oh, you don’t know?” he replied. “Steve died on Friday. I don’t have your phone number and I thought you heard…”
Solemn. Silent. Confused. I really couldn’t hear or process much of what he said.
I didn’t know because my only cell phone or media connection to the group was Steve. I had showed up last July and he introduced himself, invited me to ride other times, and we swapped phone numbers. Now someone that I rode bikes with 2-3 times a week was gone in an instant. I felt horrible.
He hadn’t been feeling good lately. He’d even went in for a serious of tests to determine why he felt “off”. But the doctor had just released him saying,-- “He’d get hit by a car on the bike before he’d have a heart attack.” That was the quote Lee told me. The next day he passed in his car on the way to the hospital, heart attack at 52. Steve Newman was a believer, a great guy, a good cyclist, and he had become a friend.
That leads me to the statement: I hate death. I do. I know my situation is selfish in nature due to the fact that thousands are dying all the time; cancer, war, malnutrition, poverty cycles, violence, and on and on we could go. Either way, death angers me. It means that a person I shared life and truth with was ripped away. The body of the soul I have grown to know is now an empty shell in a box, and then the ground. The separation is immediate and abrupt. It’s no wonder this wasn’t God’s plan for man, and it’s a true marvel that death is not the end. However, until the end or my end comes, it is something with which I will wrestle.
The scriptures state that “the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).” And so I will continue to hate the finality of death. But the bigger question is will I hate the present nature of death in my life the same? Will I hate the sin that produces death and destruction in my body, in my soul even? Will I stand against it with such defiance because I know my God has conquered both sin and death that I may have victory, and have it in abundance here and now? Will I, because of God’s amazing grace, then hate the sins that steal, kill, and destroy my heart?
Something tells me this level of hatred just might produce the life for which I long.