God Holds Death

  • Feb. 3, 2016
  • #8808

Our lives are under God’s control. His grace and protection are always there, promising our ultimate escape from death.

God Holds Death

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to "Joni and Friends".

Nearly five decades have passed since that fateful day I dove into shallow water, crunched my neck and then floated helplessly paralyzed, face-down in the water. You know, I hardly ever think about that day, it was so long ago, that is, until someone asks a question about it. The other day, a visitor to our Joni and Friends’ office asked me, "Joni, didn't you panic when you were in the water? You were face down; you were running out of breath. Weren't you frightened?"

I had to pause a minute and think back: ‘Did I panic? Was I frightened?’ Well, strange as it may seem, even though I was helplessly floating face-down in the water and unable to right myself, honestly, I had no fear. Although I knew that in the next few seconds water would flood my lungs, a deep and powerful peace held fear at bay. And I think this is why: Psalm 68, verse 20 says, “Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.” Now that is a comforting verse, because it infers that our sovereign Lord is an "escape artist" when it comes to death. Someone once explained it well when he wrote, "All that pertains to deliverance from death, all that prepares for it, all that makes it easy to be borne, all that constitutes a rescue from its pains and horrors, all that follows death in a higher and more blessed world, all that makes death 'final,' and places us in a condition where death is no more to be dreaded –all this belongs to God. All this is under His control. He only can enable us to bear death; He only can conduct us from a bed of death to a world where we shall never die."    

Wow! You know, as it turned out, my sister Kathy rescued me a split second before I began to drown. Isn’t that amazing? Yes, God will rescue you, but sometimes it’s in the split second. Yes, you will be delivered, but in absolutely no time to spare. Yes, His grace will uphold us, but sometimes it’s not ministered until we come to the absolute end of ourselves. In other words, yes, I survived that diving accident, but by the skin of my teeth. Talk about something that refines your faith, oh my goodness!

And it’s why to this day, Psalm 18 means so much to me where it says, "The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple, he heard my cry." Only heaven is going to reveal the countless times you and I escape death every day. So thank Him for His sovereign protection over your life, whether broken necks, broken arms, or broken fingernails, God blankets you with His protection – often waiting until the last minute, but His protection is there. And finally, when your time does come to leave this earth for the next, God will provide the same 'escape!' In the meantime, know that your times are in His hands and that is the safest place to be.

Friend, I realize the subject of dying is not a pleasant one, and it may well be that you’re being faced with questions about death. If so, I want to give you a pamphlet for free, something I wrote called “When is It Right to Die?” I do believe the insights I share will bolster your confidence and answer many important questions about death. For your free gift, just visit my radio page today at joniandfriends.org. And while you’re there, see the link I posted for a special article I wrote about caring for loved ones in their final stage of life. It’s all there for you at joniandfriends.org.

Photo: Joni Movie

© Joni and Friends

 

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