Living Life to the Full
Thursday, November 7, 2019
"I, obviously, prayed about it. I didn't ask God to let me live, but I just asked God to give me a proper attitude toward death. And I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death. It didn't really matter to me whether I died or lived. I have, since that time, been absolutely confident that my Christian faith includes complete confidence in life after death. So, I'm going to live again after I die…” – Jimmy Carter, speaking about being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015
Politically-speaking, I am not a Jimmy Carter fan. I even have some serious disagreements with the former president when it comes to certain biblical doctrine. For instance, Mr. Carter believes that women should be ordained as pastors and that Jesus would approve of same-sex marriage. And while he personally opposes abortion, Mr. Carter supports Roe v. Wade.
However, the 39th President of the United States is spot-on when it comes to life after death. More importantly, his belief in the afterlife is what allows him to live life to the fullest… and to embrace death instead of fearing it.
Over the summer, I read a biography of Robert F. Kennedy and was surprised to learn that John F. Kennedy had received the last rites of the Catholic Church on four different occasions prior to his assassination. The first time was in 1920, when he contracted scarlet fever at the age of two. Twenty-eight years later, Kennedy was being transported across the Atlantic Ocean from London to New York to be treated for Addison’s Disease. However, his condition worsened so much that priests on board the ship were afraid he wouldn’t survive the voyage.
A few years later, while traveling in the Far East, JFK fell gravely ill once more and lapsed into a coma. Miraculously, he recovered only to fall into another coma in 1954 following back surgery.
The lesson to be learned from the lives of these two former presidents is this: our days on earth are numbered. That means that we will not die before our time nor will we outlive it. So relax, take a deep breath, stop looking over your shoulder, and live life for all its worth… and it’s worth a lot!
“Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.” Job 14:5 (NKJV)
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16 (NKJV)
- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President