Thursday, July 25, 2013

Before Perishing




Yesterday morning, I pulled into my parking spot on the banks of the Catawba River in Belmont, the idyllic place to kayak and lose oneself in beauty and tranquility, as the car radio announced, " A dead body was found in the Catawba River in Belmont, by two kayakers this morning...."

Gulp.

The body was fully clothed, and there appeared to be no foul play...but still. Nothing like a dead body to dispel the sense of heavenly peace and beauty.
The strange thing is that when I kayak along the shores, loving the quiet, secluded beauty, I HAVE thought, this is just the sort of place someone could hide a dead body.

Shiver me timbers.

Nonetheless, I pulled my kayak out of the car and into the river. What were the chances of TWO dead bodies in one day? Slim to none, I figured. I headed upstream, the current still strong from a summer of near daily torrential rain. I wondered about the poor soul, apparently drowned in the Catawba. I came across no scary sights, though I did scare a blue heron napping on the shore. I wondered if the person had been resting on the bank and slipped in the water by accident. Or had the death been purposeful?

Whatever the circumstances, few of us know the time or method by which we will be snatched into eternity. It struck me (again) how terribly important it is that we make ourselves right with God NOW. Don't wait. Don't even get to the end of this sentence without bowing your head, and praying, "Lord, if you are there, heal my unbelief! Show me the path of righteousness! Forgive me of my sins, and my pride that has kept me so long from your side! Let me trust and know that you are there, have always been there, and into your hands, I commit my life!" I found myself hoping, as I skimmed along the shores of the Catawba, that the person found dead was now in eternity with Jesus. And I hoped fervently that no other dead bodies were waiting to be discovered.

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“If my house were not right with God, surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant, arranged and secured in every part; surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire. (2 Samuel 23:5 NIV)

And so you will bear testimony to me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Luke 21:13, 18, 19, 27, 28, 33 NIV)



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