Romans 6:5 (NIV)
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
Romans 6:5 (AMP)
For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God].
“If I die, I die.”
Bee Wood was definitely one of my favorite ladies I cared for when I was a private caregiver.
Whenever she suffered any pestering symptom that indicated something serious, Bee would let out a heavy sigh and say, “Well if I die, I die.” She made it clear that she wasn’t afraid of “being dead,” she only dreaded the dying process. Like most of us, she hoped she would pass in her sleep. She certainly didn’t want to suffer through a long, lingering death.
With respect and compassion to many who have and are suffering excruciating physical pain in their final days, it is not my intention to diminish their very real physical suffering. Indeed I stood by many bedsides (including my mother’s) and prayed for their suffering to end. But there is a type of pain that goes with dying to ourselves in the spiritual sense. That’s what I want to focus on today.
Since Bee’s death in November 2010, I’ve thought about how much I relate to the attitude she had on dying – but mostly in a spiritual sense. Whenever I have to give up something (a bad habit, wanting my own way, or anything that isn’t good for me) I undergo a definite (often a long drawn out) season of suffering until I finally die to that desire or behavior.
Until recently, I failed to see the positive aspect of death in this context. I wonder if you have too. Wouldn’t it be a relief to die to some things – to be free of sinful behavior such as slandering, addictions, or immoral behavior?
Just as Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we could choose to share in His death by dying to ourselves.
This week, especially during Lent, perhaps our goal could be to confess to God (Who intensely loves us) a specific area we’re struggling with, and ask Him to help us die to it – to give it up for Him.
What about you?
• What sin or habit do you think God is asking you to die to this week? It could even include selfish desires or ambitions.
• How might meditating on the agony that Jesus faced on the cross, and his ultimate triumph over sin and death, help you as you put your sin(s) to death this week?