2286) Once is Enough (part two of two)

Frank Prentice (1891-1918) - Find A Grave Memorial

     (…continued)  “In the midst of life, we are in death.  Of whom may we seek comfort but of Thee, O Lord…”

     “You only live once,” Fred said.  “Once is enough,” said the lady at the counter.  But it is not life she is tired of, it is death; death in all of its forms that can hide from us the magnificent glory and wonder of God-given life.

     “I have come to that you may have abundant life,” said Jesus.  “The Son gives life,” said Jesus, “and he who believes in the Son has already crossed over from death to life.”  “Death shall be no more,” said God on the throne in the second to the last chapter of the Bible.

     It is true that “in the midst of life we are in death.”  But by God’s promise it is also true that, “In the midst of death, we are in life.”  We are promised a hope that will never be disappointed.  We are promised that even though the years pass by so quickly, we will be given time that will never end.  We are promised new bodies and renewed youth, even as we grow old and tired and with everything aching and our minds failing us.  To your sadness, God says, “I will wipe every tear from your eyes.”  To our fear of death, God says, “Those who die in Christ, shall live.”  These are words of life in a world of death.  This is life as it was created to be; without sin, without pain, without hopelessness, without boredom, and without the constant threat of death.

     “One life is enough,” she said, and she is right and I would agree—if what she means is the kind of life we are used to, life that is dominated by death on every side.

     But that is not life as God intended it to be.  We don’t even know yet what real life is all about.  Think back to your most pleasant memories, your happiest days, and the very best times of your life.  Even those times are only glimpses of the wonderful life to come.  Nobody gets tired of life.  Life is God’s greatest gift.  Rather, we get tired of death in all its forms; death, the destroyer of life; death, always in the midst of life.

     But with Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, death was destroyed, and the gift of life is ours by faith.  In our remaining years of this life we will continue to face death.  But, says Paul, “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us.”


Psalm 23:4a  —  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me…

Psalm 71:20  —  Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

John 10:10b  —  (Jesus said), “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

I Corinthians 15:54-55  —  “Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy victory?  O death, where is thy sting?”

John 6:66-68  —  From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.  “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”

Romans 8:18  —   I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

II Corinthians 4:16-18  —  Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


In the midst of life we are in death.  Of whom may we seek comfort but of Thee, O Lord?

Book of Common Prayer


Lord, teach me the art of patience while I am well, and give me the use of it when I am sick.  In that day, either lighten my burden or strengthen my back.  Make me, who so often in my health have discovered my weakness in presuming on my own strength, to be strong in my sickness when I solely rely on your assistance.  Amen.

–Thomas Fuller


Almighty God, grant us grace to see beyond our present distress.  Strengthen us, we pray, and sow the seed of your Word in our hearts, that, with lively faith and love, we may see your loving hand, even in the sorrows and troubles of this mortal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

–source unknown