My wife and I watched a movie one time starring Michael Keeton where he was diagnosed with terminal cancer as his wife was carrying their first child. Told he would die before the birth of the baby, he began video taping himself telling of his childhood, explaining how to shave the proper way, reading some bedtime stories, and a host of other little things, all so his child one day would be able to know his daddy. He lived to hold his child, while bringing some healing to the bad relationships of his family of origin, and, all in all, it was a good movie with a worthwhile message.
Mary and I also recently attended the funeral of our son-in-law's Mom. Yesterday we delivered our family memorial gift to him. It was an 11x16 picture of him and his Mom put together digitally by Mary's sister and was as great a picture as I've seen in some time. He was overwhelmed by it. It really was a special moment for a special guy.
So I got to thinking about life and death...
We read in Psalm 91:13.. "Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet." I know this is a psalm with specific reference to the Messiah's victory over evil because the devil quoted verses 11 and 12 to our Lord in the middle of the temptation experience. "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands lest you dash your foot against a stone." [Or as one translation says..'so you won't even stub your toe.'] But it sure does give us some insight to this whole thing of bad things happening to good people.
In putting together some thoughts about it all here's what came out.
The lion, the adder, the dragon, as one writer I read said, "Remind us of certain kinds of dreadful events that happen to people." He went on to point out that the lion could be seen as those undisguised and obviously bad things that happen like disease or death. The adder could be understood to be the unexpected things such as accidents, and the dragon, the unfounded and foolish things that are feared so much which never come to pass. [Dragons aren't suppose to exist.]
All of the Psalm speaks of painful, hurtful, even tragic things that can happen to people for sure. But this Psalm is spoken specifically to the Messiah, as I said, and is in the context of why He didn't need to fear any of those possibilities. It follows verse 12 which the devil tried to use to get Jesus to operate in the power of His Divine nature to no avail. So the whole thing is personal to Him.
But the thing that intrigues me the most right now is that while Jesus was promised that the Angels were assigned to protect Him from all this so that He had no reason to fear what He saw, couldn't see, or the worst thing He could imagine, He still endured rejection, severe beatings, family abandonment, and finally the crucifixion.
Did the Angels forget to bear Him up and over those hurtful things? He said He could have called and they would have. But He didn't call and they didn't bear Him up over them. He thus attested to the fact that the lion, adder, and dragon things can happen to Him and to us and these identifiable, unexpected, and sometimes, self imposed painful things happen simply because there is no badge of exclusion for any person on this fallen earth. [He was here to share fully in our kind of journey in this fallen world.]
So, MAYBE the goal in life is not the escaping of the lion, the adder, or the dragon. It can certainly be concluded that their presence in His life is no indication that He was bad and was being punished. MAYBE we have no reason to fear them because MAYBE they are not the real issue at all. MAYBE the purpose of God is. Jesus fulfilled His purpose while in the midst of things like that and we certainly know what that purpose was and we are eternally grateful. MAYBE we should just fulfill our purpose too. When that's done, whatever the doctor says, however long we last in life, whatever pleasant or unpleasant things happen to transpire while we're here, MAYBE life is real life because it is measured in terms of PURPOSE more than in length of days or absence of pain or the presence of discomfort. MAYBE that's what "well done" is all about.
That's what I was thinking. I thought I'd tell you about it.