It doesn’t have to be like this!
This afternoon my heart is broken. It was a silent and somber ride home after visiting the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. Images of someone I know lying in the hospital bed with hoses and cords attached to the beeping machines and monitors only framed the vivid evidence of brutal trauma painfully evident on my friend’s body. After four days in the hospital I am told my friend looks 100% better than what they did when they first came in. As I walked into the third floor room and stepped around the curtain, I wasn’t mentally prepared for what I would see. I stepped back. My heart and mind tried to process the situation. As I stood by the bed and talked with the family I couldn’t help but glance again at the scene. Instinctively my hand reached out and rubbed the patient’s hand trying in vain to give comfort to the one who was suffering. The doctor will give my friend till Sunday for brain activity to return. If it doesn’t, my friend will either die, or live in a nursing home as a vegetable for the rest of their life. Just 5 days ago their life was normal. An altercation within the home produced this devastation. As my head swirled, my mind began to silently repeat, “It doesn’t have to be like this!”
I walked into this situation hoping and praying that I would find my friend conscious. I carried with me something I wanted to share with them that they needed now more than ever. I felt helpless. Because they were unconscious I couldn’t even give it to them! Several years ago I sat across the table from my friend and shared this valuable gift with them. The gift I brought could have prevented this tragedy. Though I was not able to share it with my injured friend, I was able to share it with a family member who stood across the bed from me. Everyone in that family is hurting because of sin!
Since just after the beginning of time, sin has been devastating lives, families, and societies (Romans 5:12). It is a disease that has a 100% infection rate and a 100% mortality rate! (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 6:23) Often the effects of sin lead to a slow and painful death, but other times it comes quickly and unexpectedly. Sin not only leads to physical death, but also hijacks the joy of life and leaves pain and suffering in its place. A family experience that could be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) is now filled with anger, hatred, violence, and self-centred emptiness (Galatians 5:19-21).
The power of the Gospel gives life!
As I stood by the bed, a nurse came in and adjusted one of the IV packs administering relief to the patient. I brought with me something that if received could heal all the wounds in that family and restore life in every form both now and for eternity. Though I am thankful for doctors and medicine, true life comes not in the form of a capsule or IV pack. True life came in the form a God-man (John 1:1-4). His name is Jesus. Jesus said in John 10:10,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly!
When we recognize that we are sinners deserving God’s judgment for our sin and turn from our sin to Jesus Christ in faith alone, He gives us new life! (John 3:16) Apart from the life-giving work of Jesus Christ in your life, you will be doomed to suffer hopelessly the devastation of sin. Sin contaminates and destroys in every aspect of life. You may not be able to see it till its effects are painfully evident, but it is there eating away and poisoning your life and condemning your eternity. As Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again!” (John 3:7) Faith in Jesus Christ alone gives abundant life.
The power of God at work convicting, restraining, and removing sin in your life is the only hope of finding true joy and peace in this life. The forgiveness and pardon for sin found in Jesus Christ alone is your only hope to be right with a just God and a recipient of eternal life.
Maybe God is graciously allowing the devastation of sin in your life to bring you to the only source of true relief. His name is Jesus! Won’t you turn from your sins and receive Him today?
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12