While John and I were dating, conflicts were frequent and intense as we attempted to sort out— and mesh—our opposites. On one heated occasion, John pulled the car to the side of the road so we could knock heads without knocking fenders.
We sat pressed against the doors on opposite sides of the car, frustration mounting until John suggested we pray—just before I landed a verbal Hail Mary for an attempted win.
I winced as his hand stretched across the great divide to rest on the console, but soon reluctant fingers entwined, and we prayed for God’s help.
Minutes later, we opened our eyes and realized we’d fallen asleep! We must’ve tested even God’s patience with our banter, so He knocked us out. We struggled unsuccessfully to recall what had seemed so critical just moments before, and ended up thanking God. Laughing and relieved from our angst, we headed home.
With the recent passing of my mother-in-law, I’ve thought about death’s similarities to that long ago experience.
Life is conflict. Like Indiana Jones, we barely catch our breath from a giant bug encounter, only to fall into a pit of vipers. To quote the once-popular bumper-sticker:
“Life is hard, and then we die.”
In the New Testament, the death of a believer in Christ is commonly referred to as one who has “fallen asleep.” What comfort to know that Jesus Christ is not only a “very present Help” for today’s troubles (Psalm 46:1), but through His death and resurrection, He stretched His hands across the Great Divide to console us to sleep. We’ll awaken relieved of all angst; and laughing, we will be Home.
Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” John 11:11
…If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 1 Thes. 4:14