If not now, when?
The global pandemic provides us all with a special chance for reflection. We now can play through the thoughts that we would normally like to push far away from us. Two excerpts from the book “God has seen us” (page 141, “God has seen us”)
We move forwards and our thoughts are of the future, even though we know that our journey will inevitably conclude with the grave. Then what? One might say a life is merely an unavoidable dead end. If that is all there is to life, it would leave a nasty taste in my mouth and a big question mark in my mind. The Bible speaks of our life on this earth as a time of preparation. The best is yet to come. That is what Jesus promised us. That is why we are Christians.
(page 144, “God has seen us”) “One time, I was standing at the bedside of an alcoholic. All of a sudden, several varicose veins burst in his oesophagus. He bled to death within minutes, right before my eyes. His last words are indelibly etched in my memory, “What will become of me?” The dying patient asked the very question I had been asking—what will become of me, when I draw my last breath, when they carry my body to the grave? I just had to find out whether the hope spoken of in the Bible was wishful thinking or something much more.”
Until just after the Second World War my mother’s family lived in Pomerania. One evening as my grandmother’s family was having supper, she heard someone opening the front door and walk up the stairs to the first floor with heavy footsteps. But who should that be? One looked upstairs, but met no one. Strange, almost creepy. Involuntarily one glanced at the clock on the wall and memorised the hour. A few days later the postman delivered a sad letter. My grandmother’s favourite brother passed away at exactly that moment in a different place.
For almost 30 years my jogging partner and I pursued our love for running sports together. Whenever we could we ran 5km round the sports field to prove to ourselves and to the groundskeeper that we were still as fit as we used to be. Today my one knee is playing up and Uli’s feet are not what they used to be. Now, 1996, his younger sister was lying in Wiesbaden’s Horst-Schmidt-Clinic and it was she clear that her end was coming. Uli, his elder sister and his mother had agreed to go to the hospital that afternoon to visit the sick patient. According to the doctors her bodily disposition was bad, but stable. At 10a.m. that morning Uli was overpowered by a huge inner unrest. Instinctively he went to the clinic. In the entrance foyer he met his mother and sister who were also overwhelmed by the same feelings. Entering the intensive care unit upstairs the doctor on duty said: “You have come at just the right moment. Your daughter and sister is dying!” 30 minutes later she breathed her last.
Deep within us there exists an intuition of an invisible world. Some experiences and stories from our family confirm our gut feeling that beyond the stage of our lives a reality exists that awaits us after death. We read in the Bible that Jesus Christ is the visible incarnation of the invisible God. His teachings and miracles stand alone and above everything else that the world’s literature has accumulated. Even non-Christian historians mention his crucifixion. Hundreds of eye-witnesses confirmed his resurrection two thousand years ago and millions of people since then declare that they have personally experienced the Resurrected One. In my three books you find more than 100 instances that go beyond what we normally experience. We truly saw God at work. My wife, our friends and I prayed countless times full of hope that God would intervene and come quickly to help us. And he did. The results lie open on the table and can be verified.
It is said that we believe what we want to believe. To a certain degree we are all pre-set in our ways and thoughts. It is not easy for anyone to question his or her way of thinking. I hope that I don’t offend anyone when I say: “If you have so far ignored the God of the Bible, why do not you give him a chance!” (Excerpt from the book “Walking on the Water”, to be released soon).
I took the above photo on 22nd February 2013 above the Atlantic. Sunsets give most people – me included – an inkling that we will only find true fulfilment in God’s presence. The Bible calls this place Heaven or the “New Jerusalem” where God will wipe away every tear. Click here to listen to a song from a concert given in Brazil. Even if you do not understand the text you will feel the desire of the young Brazilians. The desire for God. /KDJ