The Land of the Living
If you are reading this today, this is where we are. Another day in the land of the living. Another cup of coffee, another reaching for the Word and journal. Another day with the chime of a text, or a workout, or a shower. Maybe…
diapers to change,
breakfast to make for your people,
taking your kids to school,
appointments to attend,
your job to show up to,
because there’s just another day to get through.
“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say on the LORD.” Psalm 27:13-14
My Study Bible has a footnote that the command to wait should be translated to “wait in faith.” We can either faint… or exercise faith. Faint… or faith? The choice is ours. As long as we are in the land of the living we must have faith. And this faith is certainly not in ourselves. If we put faith in ourselves alone, we will have to be scraped off the floor.
What if we thought that another day in the land of the living was another day full of opportunities to make our lives an example of what a truly abundant life looks like. Why is it that sometimes we have to experience the threat of not being here, in the land of living, before we truly appreciate life? That we look at those things that are mundane and “for someone else” as something we just “have” to do, instead of things we are privileged to do.
I’ve lost some of my people this past week; two godly ladies from my church passed over to Heaven. A little child was hit by a car in front of the restaurant I visited over the weekend. His cries in his mother’s arms were a testimony that he was still in the land of the living. But just think of how close, how quickly he could have passed over. I lost a brother, and a friend that I shared my growing up years with, way too soon. We all have such losses.
Yet we have such promises that death does not have the final say: read them – out loud, hear the hope!
“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 25:8
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:54
“O death where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:55
Have you read the end of the story concerning death? Revelation 20:14 says “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire…”
Jesus tells us, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) Comfort, along with all the other blessings showered into our lives, only comes in the land of the living. In the brave hearts that trust God to give good things because that is what He is and what He does. We mourn and we can mourn and cry out and lament to Him because this is what we do. And He exchanges it all for comfort. Because that is what He gives.
I realize this is heavy, hard stuff and I won’t pretend to have the answers, but the Lord is teaching me that while I am in the land of the living I have to live this life with my faith in Jesus Christ. And I have to wait for Him in faith, so I don’t faint under the burdens of knowing that there are sorrows to face, battles to fight, pains to endure, and people that I may find hard to love and serve placed in my path. That I have to look for the goodness of God in all of it. I face none of it alone and what I receive from living in obedience is always way above and beyond what effort I put into it. If there were a scale of the hardships I think I face and the goodness of God through it all, it would be so tipped in God’s favor.
I would just have to say “Thank you Lord, for giving me another day in the land of the living.”