Paul was caught between life and death! It made me think about how many teenagers are in the same position but for a very different reason.
23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
How many people think about dying? How many people when they get really depressed think that dying is better than living? Many I would suggest feel that way. For Christians, we know that heaven is a promise at the end of this life. Heaven is being with God permanently and forever. Heaven is that place that God intended for us, where we can share in His amazing adventure of life everlasting, in all-good. In heaven there is no more pain, no more sorrow, no more dying and no more disappointment. I for one, cannot wait til we get to heaven and see Jesus face to face.
Paul here is thinking about that very thing and he knows that lies ahead of him one day – heaven. Paul knows that it is something so indescribable and compelling about being with Jesus. However, he also knows that God has called him personally to such a great work on earth. God has put in every person a desire for life. That is why our bodies fight so hard for air when we feel like suffocating.
Maybe there is a young person whose lie is on the rocks right now, reading this piece. You feel there is nothing left to live for. Your friends are against you, and your parents do no understand you. All you can think of is getting away from it all. If you could just escape for a short while, you would be at peace. But that is a lie from the devil. Death does not bring escape, nor peace. Jesus came to bring Life. It is in living life as it was intended to be lived where peace is found. Paul says that death would be even better than life for him, because he could go be with his savior. But that day will come soon enough.
In the meanwhile we have a job to do – to tell the world that Jesus saves. Jesus came to set us free from the darkness that presses in on us. If you feel like there is no reason to carry on living, I urge you to reach out to someone you know that loves God, and ask them to pray with you. God wants to change your mess into a message. When you know the joy of serving Jesus, eve though times may be tough sometimes, there is a friend who will walk with you, hand in hand through the tough times and His name is Jesus. His name is Wonderful, Counselor and Prince of Peace.