surprising life

Last August in Asuncion, Paraguay, Jose Alvarenga received the worst news a father can hear about a newborn child. The doctors came and told him his son, born prematurely (only 500g /17.6 oz), was dead. A little over 4 hours after the heartbreaking event, Jose opened the box that held his tiny son's casket so that he could say his goodbyes, and found his son alive. "I opened it to look at his remains," said Mr. Alvarenga, "and found that the baby was breathing. I began to cry." They rushed the baby back to the hospital where he was stabilized.

Each of us must deal with death on a daily basis. We face death when we bury a parent or a sibling or a friend. We face death when we receive frightening news of cancer or some other medical crisis. Beyond these obvious places, death has sunk its talons into every corner of human existence. Families ruined. Relationships torn apart. Neighborhoods and cities and countries straining under the weight of poverty and crime.

The Bible tells us that this death is due to the rebellion and sin we have committed against our Creator (Genesis 2:15-16). The apostle Paul reiterates this sad reality, declaring that the result of human sin is death, destruction, ruin, and mayhem (Romans 6:23).

Paul starkly presents our situation before God when he states that we're all "dead because of [our] disobedience and [our] many sins" (Ephesians 2:1). But God, always one to surprise us with His kindness and generosity, arrives at the moment we're most desperate, most hopeless. He rushes to our aid "even though we [are] dead because of our sins" (v.5). We're dead, lifeless. We are, by all accounts, past hope. Yet God arrives, and immediately everything changes. God gives us life, surprising, beautiful life. , Winn Collier
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