The Land of the Dying
The other day I heard another pastor say, “I didn’t realize I would be dealing with a local, national, or global crisis every month, sometimes every week, in my ministry.” I understood her statement. The frequency in which all of us are receiving challenging, disheartening, and alarming news is overwhelming. For some, the climate of chaos is causing fear and a lack of hope. For others, anger is rising up. For many, we find ourselves asking, What can we do?, and Where do we start?
I believe the best place to start is with a proper perspective.
Many people think we currently live in the Land of the Living and will one day head towards the Land of the Dying, but I think true Jesus followers see it the other way around.
It seems clear to me we will never find true, lasting hope in the things of this world. Not to be all negative, but it doesn’t take much looking around to see that we live in a dark, dying, decaying world. Sickness, hunger, hurricanes, racism, nuclear threats, death….I know you don’t need me to go on.
As I read scripture, it appears to me that we currently live in the Land of the Dying. We currently live in a dark and doomed world. Because of sin, things are not as they should be. Because of sin, there is darkness and destruction all around us. And, as we read scripture, we see that this sin-filled world will not get better but instead will get worse, until Jesus returns.
But this doesn’t mean we are left without hope!
Scripture tells us:
God is Light; in Him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5).
The darkness is passing and the true light is shining, (1 John 2:8)
As Jesus followers, we are filled with true light, love, and hope that comes from Jesus. As Jesus followers, we are called to live counter culturally in a dark world, showing those that are lost that there is another way. We are called not to hold onto the things of this world but to live as if we have hope in the Land of the Living that is to come. We are called to be light givers, hope givers, to those that are lost and trying to find their way.
Yes, life is difficult. Yes, we will go through many hard things in this world. Yet, as Jesus followers, we can choose to live with hope because Jesus has already overcome the world! (John 16:33)
I, too, can get overwhelmed by the constant difficulties in this world, but then I am reminded that I was not created for this world but for the Land of the Living that is to come. Thank you, Jesus!