The Frailty of Life

I wrote this blog on March 30th, 2013, at 6:48 a.m. as I was sitting in the Toronto airport waiting for my flight to Barbados to start boarding. I can’t believe I’m only now getting around to posting it! In any case, here it is!
I love it and I hate it when I’m faced with the frailty of life.
I hate it in my flesh…the part of me that likes things to be stable and predictable…the part of me that likes to feel “in control.”
Today, in just over an hour, I will get into a metal structure and ascend thousands of feet into the air, defying all laws of gravity. I will have no control over that plane and that reality reminds me that this life truly is a vapor…it can be here one minute, gone the next.
With regard to my health, I’m doing everything I can to avoid sickness and remain healthy in this pregnancy so that the baby will be healthy. An example of this is the fact that I cancelled all babysitting engagements to reduce my exposure to kids once I discovered that I’m not immune to Parvo19 (slapped-cheek disease), which is particularly dangerous to unborn children before the 20th week of pregnancy is reached. I’ve done everything in my power to ensure that I don’t get this illness. Yet, as I looked at my little nephew’s sick self last night (we live with him) and his little red cheeks, I realized that all of my vigilance can only go so far.
I have no idea if my nephew has Parvo19 (he probably doesn’t, in all likelihood), or whether or not I’ve been exposed to this virus through some other means (there are no really visible symptoms when the virus is contagious).
But the one thing I do know is that:
“No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him – the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough – that he should live on forever and never see decay. For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish…man…does not endure…”
(Psalm 49: 7-9, 10a, 12 NIV)
The human, fleshly part of my heart hates this…hates that I can’t prolong my baby’s life or my own for that matter…that I have no control over whether or not I catch Parvo19 or whether or not my baby will have health complications…that I cannot MAKE my life or my baby’s life endure.
Yet Psalm 49 does not end there. Verse 13-14 says:
“This is the fate of those who trust in themselves…they are destined for the grave.”
And I begin to see why I fear the reality of death sometimes…it’s because I’m trusting in myself and seeing death as “the end.”
So now I come to the reason why I LOVE being faced with the frailty of life, and why it’s sometimes exactly what I need: because it makes me TRUST JESUS.
It’s true that no man or woman can redeem, prolong or provide a ransom for my life (or that of my baby)…but Jesus has! Hebrews 9:15 says that Jesus died as a ransom to set us free from our sins! No human payment could ever be enough, but Jesus paid it all!!!
My hope on this Easter weekend is not that I can somehow control every outward influence or preserve my life and the lives of those I love. My hope is in a crucified and risen Savior who conquered sin and death so I no longer have to live enslaved by fear of death.
Psalm 49:15 articulates so perfectly this hope I find when I trust in Jesus rather than myself:
“God will redeem my life from the grave; He will surely take me to Himself.”
And so I rest in this truth, and the reality that NOTHING (not even death!) can separate me from the love of Christ (Romans 8).