Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Somewhere a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ lies on a bed of stillness and intermittent consciousness (if any at all), seemingly having lost all significance and place in a world he (or she) can no longer experience. He seems merely to languish, awaiting only the deliverance of death unless an unlikely miracle occurs which delivers him from a life lost.

Or does he? I would contend that we cannot be sure that such a sad reality is the only possibility of the scenario we propose. Let us remember that every believer, whether vibrantly active or quietly stilled, possesses within the depths of his being the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). On that bed of languishing, therefore, lies a temple of the almighty God. The body may not move. The eyes may not open. The voice may not speak. However, we do not know what holy movements may be transpiring in that place beyond our abilities to see and know. Specifically, I wonder if perhaps a communion with God takes place that the stilled one could or would never experience during previous times of what we would call an active life. "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

Let us recall the Apostle Paul's discovery that God's strength is "made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:9). Our Lord's ways, His perfect ways, are not our ways. His presence most envelops us when He seems farthest away - "God is... a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Thus, we might expect that the appearance of a lost life might belie the reality of a a life, Christ's risen life, revealed in a body that seems more like a tomb. If so, you and I may in this day be the beneficiaries of intercessions arising from those whose beds of languishing are actually altars of loving supplication on our behalf.

Again, we cannot know that this is the case. But I strongly suspect that the God so dynamically and invasively involved in our lives does not waste the opportunity presented to Him by the stilled body of a believer. He may work therein to commune with His loved ones in ways that we cannot know, eliciting prayers for those of us tempted by notions of self importance to believe that God is limited to the usage only of our active bodies. Indeed, we may one day discover that our outward activities were the fruits of inward activities vibrantly experienced by those with stilled bodies, but soaring spirits.

"Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still."
(Psalm 4:4)
"The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him."
(Habbakuk 2:20)

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