This week I had to undergo a fairly routine procedure with the stated purpose of screening for cancer. Our home is thankful for the good results (best health report, yet). However, it did bring me back to Jonathan Edward’s ninth resolution:
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
Here Edwards deliberately chose to think on something deadly, his own passing. I believe he was resolved to do this as a means to push away the world and its worries. He had been consumed with his own problems and priorities. His own pursuits and possessions. Pride and pleasure. You pick the ‘p’… he was resolved to think this way to keep what is important important. To use the morbid as a means for meditation.
What is it that really matters when the end is in sight? Am I doing what I would choose to be doing if I knew my end was near? And for what purpose? So why am I worrying, even fearful, and oh so selfish? It’s amazing how insignificant one’s anxieties can become when he thinks about his own demise.
That’s because the child of God is reminded of the big picture, recalling the hope of glory. It’s a promise of glorification—knowing “that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
The fallen man is a self-righteous one (Isa 64:4). But thanks be to God, as the believer has been imputed with Christ’s righteousness (2 Cor 5:21), and he will desire to grow in his practical righteousness (Phil 3:10-14), until that one day when “we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2). Meaning we will be glorified and rescued completely from our very own sin nature.
Just imagine what it will be like looking back at our temporal days on this earth from the eternal state. Did I worship God with my life or something else? Was it lived out for His glory or the unholy trinity of me, myself, and I?
Again, I am thankful for the wisdom that is found in reading through each of Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions. Number nine certainly has some profound implications. May my meditation on the eternal help me to keep the temporal in its place.