What Keeps You Alive?

     My son, Ben, has a pulse generated, battery operated device called a VNS (Vagal Nerve Stimulator) that was implanted in his chest five years ago. The VNS sends signals to his brain through the vagus nerve in the neck to help reduce the rate and duration of seizures much as a cardiac pacemaker signals the heart . Due to an increase in seizures and a decline in behavior of late, his doctor felt that the stimulator battery, which has a five year life, may be running low. Time for a new, improved VNS with a full battery charge which requires an out patient surgical procedure.
     Hopefully I did not loose you in all the particulars there, but the info is pertinent to what God has placed on my heart. We, including Ben, were aware of the need for surgery almost two weeks prior to the event.  We had had a terrible time with Ben a couple of years ago getting him through a gall bladder removal surgery. Fear welled up inside of me as I had flashbacks of that scenario, and my
focus became seeking God’s strength and grace for that day.  Ben’s autistic focus, however, became his very life.  He mistakenly believes that this VNS  implanted in his chest is what keeps him alive no matter what we say to the contrary. All he could hear was that the battery of this thing was running low, essentially dying.  All he could think was that if it died he died. He was inconsolable.
     What do you believe that to be true about in your life?  What is “life itself” to you?  Is it your family, your job, your financial security, your leisure activities, your accomplishments, your friends, your addiction? Into what basket have you misguidedly placed what you believe to be the essence of your life, that which you believe you could not live without? Just as Ben would be alive despite his VNS battery function, you would be alive if you lost any of the above listed, but would you feel “alive?”
      How precarious life is if only anchored to the things of this world. How sad that we choose to walk that tightrope of desperately clinging to our fractured view of what gives life, and joy, and meaning when these things are only found in Jesus who gives life both spiritually and physically. And not just an average run of the mill life.  Ephesians 3:20 says this, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”  Now if that isn’t enough to make you throw off whatever the “battery” dependence in your life might be, I don’t know what is.  We just think we are living!  “…more than all we ask or imagine…” Now that sounds some kind of awesome!
     That is what I want for me! That is what I want for you!  Ground yourself in this life and in eternity to come by choosing  all that Jesus has to offer you. Open your hand, release what you so desperately cling to for security and grasp His.  “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power with all the saints, to grasp and know how long and high and wide and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)  To God Be the Glory!

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