Desiring to Live Longer?

January 22, 2020 at 11:47 AM

In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.”

Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, “Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and with wholehearted devotion; I have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard,a the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Go back and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people that this is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: ‘I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. I will surely heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the house of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for My sake and for the sake of My servant David.’” (2 Kings 20:1-6 Berean Study Bible)

Notice King Hezekiah is so upset with the prospect of his impending death that he turns to the wall and prayed to God. He then “wept bitterly.” Only a year or so ago that I thought it was a bit arrogant of Hezekiah to cry like that. Why was he being such a “baby” when faced with the fact that his life was shortly going to be over? Didn’t he care about the afterlife and spending eternity with God? After all, King Hezekiah had been a fairly faithful servant of the Lord Most High. What did he have to fear?

I’ve since understood a few more things about life in general and why we we as humans think the way we do. King Hezekiah knew less about heaven and the afterlife than we do today though we don’t know a tremendous amount about heaven. We know that we will serve and worship God forever and we will do it perfectly, without sin. I cannot imagine that, can you?

So, understanding that at the very least, we will be with Christ and see Him as He is, as well as no longer having the ability to sin in thought, word, or deed, should create within us a greater desire to be with Christ and shed this life, correct?

But there is another side to things. Over the years, I have watched our two children grow into fine adults and marry. Our daughter and her husband now have a son, our first grandson. This is a supreme blessing in so many ways.

My son-in-law recently texted a digital photo of me from a number of years ago that I had forgotten about. There I was, sitting on the couch surrounded by four of our cats and I could not believe how FAT I was then! My son-in-law was actually marveling at the major change and said I was unrecognizable between then and now! What a complement! It’s a photo I want to keep on my phone as a reminder of how bad we can allow ourselves to go if we are not careful.

So here I am, much better off with far less weight, fewer prescription medication to correct the problems that stemmed from my obesity, and in general, feeling so much better. However, I am fully aware of the fact that I will die one day. My life is heading to that moment. I’m not sure if I’ve “extended” my life or if the day of my death is set in stone by God Himself and I’ve simply improved the quality of my remaining years until I die. But my new health has given me a brighter outlook on life and I want to experience more of it.

Hezekiah was sick and was told he was going to die. Instead of preparing for that event, he pulled back from it and begged the Lord to let him live. The Lord graciously extended the king’s life though Hezekiah made at least one huge faux pas after God healed him.

This is the difficulty with life, death and dying. While we all know that we will die and stand before the Lord, on one hand we look forward to it. On the other hand, we know our loved ones will miss us and that pain can be unbearable. Beyond this, if you haven’t lived a full life and you end up dying “early” or earlier than you would like, you tend to feel a bit cheated if you see death coming.

I’m looking forward to seeing more grandchildren and becoming “Pops” to them just as I am Pops to my first grandson. I’ve come to realize that for Christians, one of the greatest things we can do (aside from sharing the Gospel and living for Christ), is to be there for our children when they need our help.

I recall the highs and lows of raising our two kids. We came to rely on my mom to help us for babysitting needs and at the time, it seemed good. We realized much later that it wasn’t as good as we thought because my mom tried to brainwash our daughter into thinking that she needed to spend every Saturday with my mom, her grandmother. It was several years before we realized what was going on – that my mom wanted to a “do-over” since she and my sister were constantly in and out of relationship – and by that time, some damage had been done.

Turned out much later, we found that my mother had what is called “Borderline Personality Disorder.” Once we realized that, we began to put many pieces of the puzzle together that had frustrated us no end. One of the things that is prevalent in people with this disorder is they see you as either all good or all bad and that can switch from day to day or numerous times during the day. There is no gray area for them where you are concerned. It was enough to drive us crazy because we always thought we were going out of our way to be kind and sensitive to my mom, including her in many things, often to the exclusion of my wife’s parents and family.

At any rate, the reason I share this is to show that there can clearly be a downside to being close with certain members of the family and it can sometimes do more harm than good, depending on the situation and/or mental health issue(s). These need to be considered seriously.

However, in the case of me and my wife, we get along very well with our adult children. We love their spouses. We began praying for our children’s spouses years ago.

But now, with grown children on their own, with their spouses, what should our roll be? In essence, our roll is one of support. We are done being the parent we were when they were growing up. We raised our children to be independently reliant on the Lord and when they were young, it was our responsibility to guide them to see that. This requires giving unasked for advice almost all the time. It requires being ready to offer discipline when needed (e.g. positive discipline that helps the child make good choices and removes privileges when bad choices are made. We only spanked our children a few times and it amounted to a quick swat on the bottom).

As parents, we needed to literally “raise” our children and we worked hard at it, though we were certainly not perfect. This made it very difficult to really let them go and to begin to treat them as adults when the time came. Now, we generally don’t offer advice unless it is asked for and even then, we are careful not to tell them what to do. Admittedly, that can be difficult, but it is no longer our job to “raise” our children. That job function has segued into a more supportive role.

So because of this, and especially the birth of our first grandchild, we find ourselves in a different position. We are not our grandchild’s parents. Our role must be to support his parents and help where we can. Fortunately, our daughter and son-in-law actually enjoy having us visit. While there, we make sure we do not add to their burder, but actually help them by taking care of things around the house. We know from experience how busy life can be as they raise their first child. Our daughter is sleep deprived because of nursing and as much as her husband helps out, that’s something he cannot do. They both work full-time.

So, we see ourselves in the supportive roll of taking up the slack for our kids. It’s a roll my wife and I enjoy. This also applies to my son. Not long ago, my son’s wife called me to ask if I could help with their kitchen faucet, which had started to leak. My wife and I were actually excited to drive down to their home an hour south of us and help with the project! I had replaced the faucet in our sink so I knew how to do it. I’ve helped my son with other projects as well. He can also rely on his father-in-law who is very handy around the house.

Am I ready to go to be with the Lord in eternity? Whenever He calls me home. However, I also know that life is going to get terrible for society as we approach the coming Tribulation and I’d like to be able to live long enough to ensure that our children can face the future relying heavily on God. We have no idea just how bad it will get but if the current problems in society are any indication, it won’t be pretty and will create hardships for many.

Because of this, we would like to be there for our children as long as we can, as the Lord allows. We aren’t necessarily asking for another 15 or 30 years. We simply want to make the most of the time that’s left to us in providing for our children as much as we are able to do so. Our daughter and son-in-law have already asked us if we’d be willing to move up to their area once their son begins going to school. We are willing, but we’ll have to see what the Lord says about that.

And that’s another thing. Even though the state they live in and the state we live in are “red” (conservative), with the way things are going in public schools these days (transgenderism, socialism, etc.), it would probably be better to send children from Christian homes to Christian schools. This will provide a sure footing as they face the woes of society in the years to come. We may need to help them make that happen because of costs involved.

Paul said, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever,” (1 Timothy 5:8 ESV). If we are in a position to help, we should do that, with our children’s permission.

Hezekiah wanted to live longer. I get it. I would like to live long enough to make a difference for our children and their children.

Entry filed under: Agenda 21, Atheism and religion, israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: , .

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