(Excerpt from Chapter 14 of Leona Choy’s book HOSPITAL GOWNS DON’T HAVE POCKETS!) Special June discount-book-of-the-month
I try my best to do everything right during recovery from my hospital adventure: taking my medications, going for my checkups and X-rays, forcing myself to exercise, breathing fresh air, watching my nutrition, getting enough rest, and monitoring my positive outlook. And praying a lot! I’m cooperating to the best of my ability.
As a mortal, however, I have a restricted life span and God has divinely prescribed the outer limits. We are told that every week in this country 210 men and women do reach the ripe age of 100—that’s comparatively very few and still exceptional.
Formerly, most people died a lot younger (except during the Methuselah era). Now, hopefully, we have better nutrition, medical breakthroughs, surgical procedures, and health habits which combine to keep us on this planet longer than our ancestors. On the other hand, increased pollution, chemical food additives, drug abuse, destructive health habits, fast transportation, and soft, affluent living are some negative factors pulling life expectancy downward. Heredity and accidents are contributing factors, of course.
Jesus said it realistically: "Which of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure [cubit] to his stature or to the span of his life?” (Matthew 6:27 Amplified paraphrase)
Some people do try to add to their bulk, stature, stamina, or speed by taking steroids, but it backfires: muscles, weight, and energy may increase, but as a consequence, life span is cut short or health declines. Medical science can step in to prolong life to a certain extent, but life support systems, artificial body parts and transplants aren’t always successful and don’t last permanently.
Ultimately, for me as a Christian, the sovereignty of God determines how long I will live. He calls the shots. My loving Lord sets the timer and the wake-up alarm for heaven. I’ve already settled it in my heart: absolutely nothing happens to me outside His control and tender care.
Lord, make me to know my end, and [to appreciate] the measure of my days, what it is; let me know and realize how frail I am—how transient is my stay here. Behold, You have made my days as [short as] handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in Your sight.
Truly, every man at his best is merely a breath! Selah [pause, and think calmly of that]! Surely every man walks to and fro—like a shadow in a pantomime; surely for futility and emptiness they are in turmoil; each one heaps up riches, not knowing who will gather them.
And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You. (Psalm 39:4-6 Amplified paraphrase)
We can safely say that no one is living today who was born before 1860. They are all history—as I will be. Yes, I’ll cooperate and do the best I can with who I am, what I have, who my ancestors were, where I live, and what amount and quality of life God has ordained to gives me in His plan for me.
Nevertheless, the cubits are not in my pocket—they are in God’s!
(Watch for the next post-excerpt “What if I won’t be perfectly whole?”)