A Cruel Joke

I entered the Autumn of life. Well, that is if I live to 80. If I’m gone by 60…it’s Winter. If I exit tomorrow this is the last you’ll hear from me. Either way leaves are resting in vibrant colors and letting go. It’s been a year of heartbreak and triumphant love. Uncovering grievous secrets and profitable revelation. Shedding tears and dangerous attachments. 

At our age death and dying often becomes the main course at dinner. Parents and senior friends are long on losses and short on victories.  

This is not by any means a new thought. Death has been the tracks of 28 years as a Christian. Dying to this ornery appetite is the hardest best life there is. Knowing this Jesus who planted Himself in the center of my ciaos is my greatest incentive for another twelve months. But this is not the type of death and dying the people around me fear. 
Eighty-five years is a heap of dreams. A stadium of acquaintances. Reams of relationships. And a storehouse of stuff. Amazingly…it all fits in a 400 square ft. room in the end. I stomp out of the Memory Care facility raging at God. This is it!? All the years we run — for eating and drinking, buying and selling, marrying and building — only to ferment with our dusty pictures and trophies. Life is a cruel joke! Are you laughing at us, God? I sob. 

In my trembling He speaks…

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 
Then Jesus said to him,  “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'” Matt 4:8-10 

Remember this encounter? Satan offers the world to Jesus if He would just denounce God. And He replies, “Get away from Me!” But we said, “I’ll take it!” We took the deal…and the devil has the last laugh on our deathbed…unless we fold. I forgot this dilemma which God used to repossess me once. My life is no joke to God. He trekked the wilderness to keep me from becoming a punch-line. 

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:15-18

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