When do you decide to let God into your life? When do you decide to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior? When do you realize that God is in control and you are not? I cannot speak for you, I only know that it took me far too many years to accept Jesus, let God in, and turn things over to God with me just looking for how I could best serve Him. I would say the sooner the better, but I needed to experience a lot of ups an downs before I was really able to serve God well. I think He knew that. Many people used to come to me for pastoral counseling exactly because they knew that I had been through the wars, had personal problems and overcame them. I would not go to a marriage counselor who had never been married. I wouldn’t go to someone for counseling about an alcohol or drug problem unless I knew that they knew exactly what it was like. So, maybe God is curing you like leather to make you strong enough to serve Him as He needs. I do know that I am really grateful that I made it through life and was able to accept Christ before I died. I had many close calls with death before I became a real Christian and more than a couple after. I am just really glad that I didn’t die too soon. Now, death has no power to scare me, it is just a door to another experience. Perhaps no one can truly live until they have put death in its place. Perhaps the best expression of this came from a poet who lived over 400 years ago, John Donne, so here is his take:
From “Holy Sonnets” — Death, Be Not Proud
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.