Words from the Heart

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

In late March of last year, I read that verse and wrote in my journal, "What does 'to live is Christ' really mean?" At that time I was about nine weeks pregnant with my daughter, Scout. Here are some of my other journal entries:

  "March 20, 2001 - Today I am really nauseated and feeling really yucky."

"March 25, 2001 - I have awful morning sickness, a headache and a horrible cough that triggers my gag-reflex which makes me even more nauseated. Between this cough and getting up five times every night to use the bathroom, then Jimmy snoring in my ear - I am getting zero sleep."

"March 28, 2001 - My stomach is pouching out. I haven't worn make-up in forever. I haven't had a shower in three days."

"April 1, 2001 - I am still pretty sickly and honestly, I am letting it ruin my life."

"April 2, 2001 - Lord, I'm so tired of feeling nauseated and vomiting all the time - and these headaches!"

What a wimp! It really cracks me up that as I was philosophically pondering "to live is Christ" I was also complaining endlessly! That just doesn't sound like "to live is Christ", does it? It sounds more like the "I'm a Victim Unit" at the local psychiatric ward!

I wondered, "Aren't there certain responsibilities for living your life when someone died on your behalf? Like-living a life that honors the one who died?" Uh, yeah...

Your are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:20

Again, in late March, I wrote that I had seen a story told on a television program. -It went something like this:

"Will, a twenty-year-old man, is thin, tall, handsome, healthy, going to college, and has lots of promise. He tells that when he was five, he went on a rafting trip with his dad when the raft overturned and Will was dragged down-river by the current. He remembers helplessly being pulled through the water, passing person after person on the shore, and feeling horrified because not one of them tried to help him.

Finally, one young man, in his early twenties, named Sam, who was fishing, saw Will's peril, and courageously jumped into the roaring rapids. Sam carried little Will to shore safely.... And miraculously...for when they reached the muddy bank, little Will was all right, but Sam was dead. He died saving Will's life.

As I watched Will tell his story, the powerful emotion and gratitude he displayed struck me. On this program, Will was given an opportunity to meet Sam's mother. He hugged her tightly and cried uncontrollably, as did she in return. Will was desperate for Sam's mother to know that he had grown into an honorable man, and had succeeded this far in life solely because of Sam's sacrifice. Since he could remember, he had awakened each morning with the thought that he was going to live that day to honor the young man that had died saving him.

I was amazed, too, by how loving Sam's mother was toward Will although they had never before met. She was deeply interested in his life and well being. She was pleased and proud that her son had not died in vain.

Could there be a more perfect picture of our lives? Christ died saving me. He delivered me! He is MY Hero."

As I wrote these words last year - again I was in awe. I don't live each moment regarding Jesus as my hero. I don't consider Him and His enormous sacrifice with such emotion that I cannot control my tears.

Shouldn't I?

God, the Father, is so interested in me - not because I'm so great - but because he wants to see in my life that His Son did not die in vain. It blesses God to know that I DO consider Jesus my hero, that I am grateful every minute of every day for His sacrifice.

For me, to live IS Christ.

How about you?

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