As I consider the course of my life, its many joys and travails, I often marvel that I am who I am and where I am today. From being nearly aborted before I was born, to nearly drowning as a toddler, to having endured a major illness as an adult, I could have died physically many times in my life. Spiritually, I was dead in my sin before God saved me through the blood of His Son Jesus. Though there was much life and joy in those early days of being alive in Christ, the ensuing years brought many episodes of spiritual rebellion. From seeking to save myself through my own righteousness, to being indifferent to the only source of life, to being drawn to make a name for myself in my professional life, to living out my sexual desires in my own way, I could have died spiritually many more times in my life.
Yet I am alive today, perhaps more alive than ever. Physically, mentally, socially, and professionally, I feel more complete and enriched than I perhaps have ever felt. I am in a reasonable physical condition, I feel mostly content and happy, I have good family relations and some valued friends, and my vocation is something I treasure and excel at. Of course, there are still many areas for growth (I could eat a bit healthier and exercise more!), but I am blessed to be living the life I am. But none of that would amount to much if I did not have the Lord in my life. Though I could and should have died spiritually, my gracious Father would not let me die. When I sought to earn by own salvation, the Father showed me that this was folly and that Christ’s work was the only sufficient work of salvation, which He gives freely by grace. When I have repeatedly been indifferent to Him and His gospel, the Father has repeatedly shown me that there is only darkness and death apart from Him but that there is fullness of life in Him. When I sought to make my own name great through my vocation, the Father frustrated my rebellious efforts and brought me to a place where my vocation is an expression of His life in me. When I have lived out my sexual desires apart from God whether through pornography or relations, the Father has repeatedly reminded me of His forgiveness in Christ and the holy heart of Christ that He has deposited into my heart. I am more alive in Him today even as I am more aware of both the life of Christ and the body of death within me. His faithfulness is truly amazing. Thanks be to God that His victory is assured in my life, for His promises and calling are secure and unchanging.