Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Absent Self

Many accounts within the bible have stood out to me over the years.  One of my favorites can be found in 2 Kings 20:1-11.  It is the story of King Hezekiah when he was sick and dying and the LORD visited him.

In my many years of working in the prehospital (ambulance) and hospital settings, I have seen a lot of death.  That is, possibly, the second hardest part of being in the emergency medical field.  I say possibly because at times with the great number of faces we "see" they are hard to forget.  Faces of children, distraught or worried parents, grandmothers and grandfathers, young adult male and females and all in between.  The faces are countless.  Our chief goal is to stabilize and transport as quickly and safely as possible.
Death affects people in different ways.  Many times have I seen that final battle in which the person struggles to stave of the inevitable, if, God chooses not to prolong their life here on earth.  

Why choose a passage such as this if it evokes memories of loss and death?  I cannot say.
While walking down the street and mulling over ideas for my next blog post, the title "The Absent Self" popped into my head.  Soon after the account of Hezekiah made its appearance.  
How could I make these two halves a whole?  Stopping a few further along the way, the answer came to me.  

God sent the prophet Isaiah to Hezekiah to tell the king "to get your house in order, for you shall die, and not live."  There are no hidden words in that very one sided conversation.  
Hezekiah upon hearing the words of Isaiah, turned his face to the wall and prayed.  
As I have previously stated, being in the medical field I have seen many people die and their fight to retain life.  Yet, God knows the number of our days and He alone can extend or end it.
Hezekiah did not plead with, fight, curse or try to bargain with God.  
(3) "Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight."  And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
At this point in my life I was backsliding.  God and faith were no where in sight or the back of my mind. Everday I saw the brevity of life and how fleeting it could be and yet I sought no life for myself.
God was and is merciful.
Hezekiah accepted what God had to tell him.  Was he happy?  The bitter tears say no.  I think King Hezekiah wanted to live so that he could continue serving God and do more to further the name of God.  Just supposition not established fact.

In the absence of himself Hezekiah thanked God for the life he had been given hoping it had been pleasing to His God.   
God being pleased with the heart of Hezekiah chose to heal him and add 15 years to his life.
There was no pleading for one more day or hour.  No requests for his family or friends came out of his mouth.  It was time to die and he was ready.
What an example?  I/we as children of God should live our lives in constant service to God.  Will it lead to good fortunes and long life?  Not always.  Even so, bad days will surely be a part of it as well.  Yet, when we get to the end of our lives and God is calling us home will we be as accepting of it as Hezekiah was?  Don't answers that.
What matters is how we have walked before our God and was it pleasing to Him.
The absence of self makes all these things possible because God will surely fill us to over flowing with Hos Holy Spirit to endure.

God bless.