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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, July 23, 2012


"And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:49–52 (NIV © 1984)

I will not pretend to know the mind of God or to understand his "mystery." God has a plan for us that is more beautiful and abundant than anything we can possibly imagine. I do know that we will be changed in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye.

Neither will I try to diagnoses a murderer whom I have never met. What empty, blackness was at the bottom of his soul will be never known. I thank God for that. God does not let us know or understand the depth of evil to which some people sink. I want to never "understand" that depravity.

What I want to focus on, in the aftermath of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, are the many testimonies of faith from the survivors. While they witnessed the death and injuries of those whose lives were changed in an instant of madness, their witness is their own response. They prayed to God; they helped others; and they were unafraid.

One man, who had attended the movie with his church group, said that he was not afraid because he believed in God and knew that God was with him. Several survivors spoke of their faith and how faith sustained them through the long minutes of death. In the twinkling of an eye, their lives were changed. Those who died where gone. Their loved ones will live the rest of their lives with an empty spot in the heart. Those who survived, will be part of a night of terror forever. Where there once was a safe world, bullets had blasted a hole in their sense of safety. My friends, the gaping wounds do not have to remain.

Nature will not permit a void to go unfilled. We either deliberately invite the love of God to enter us, or abdicate our right to decide the contents of our heart. The world will swoop in and insert earthly ideas and feelings, including the basic emotion of fear. In the twinkling of an eye, the contents of our hearts will be revealed to our Lord and our God. May we remember the joy we had before the massacre, and the love of those who were lost and those who were injured. At this very moment, make the choice to be filled with God and His love, and we will be forever changed, even before the last trumpet. Let us pray:

"Loving Father, you hold our hand through the valley of the shadow of death so that we may fear no evil. For this, we praise your holy name and the name of your son, our savior, Jesus Christ. We pray that your kingdom may come this moment, in the twinkling of an eye, that we may live with you as do the angels in heaven. Today, we choose love and not fear. Fill us to overflowing with all that is lovely and loving. For this great mystery and blessing, we give you all praise and honor. Forgive us when we have forgotten your promises. This day, we choose the spirit of remembering the love that created the whole world and worlds beyond. In the name of Jesus, our redeemer, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

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