A heart wrenching excerpt from John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life” (please read this book). The first part is from a World War II history book.
As rainy morning wore into afternoon and the fighting bogged down, the Marines continued to take casualties. Often it was the corpsmen [medics] themselves who died as they tried to preserve life. William Hoopes of Chattanooga was crouching beside a medic named Kelly, who put his head above a protective ridge and placed binoculars to his eyes–just for an instant–to spot a sniper who was peppering his area. In that instant the sniper shot him through the Adam’s apple. Hoopes, a pharmacist’s mate himself, struggled frantically to save his friend. “I took my forceps and reached into his neck to grasp the artery and pinch it off,” Hoopes recalled. “His blood was spurting. He had no speech but his eyes were on me. He knew I was trying to save his life. I tried everything in the world. I couldn’t do it. I tried. The blood was so slippery. I couldn’t get the artery. I was trying so hard. And all the while he just looked at me. He looked directly into my face. The last thing he did was the blood spurts became less and less was to pat me on the arm as if to say, ‘That’s all right.’ Then he died.”
Piper writes, “In this heart-breaking moment I want to be Hoopes and I want to be Kelly. I want to be able to say to suffering and perishing people, “I tried everything in the world…I was trying so hard.” And I want to be able to say to those around me when I die, “It’s all right. To live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Oh, LORD, that you will give us a passion to live in a way that makes it overtly apparent that YOU are our only treasure and the only thing we live for.
Guys, I have lived so much of my life with the “Avoidance ethic”. I have “avoided doing bad things” and called myself a Christ-follower. Friends, WOE, woe, WOE to us who take on Jesus as a free ticket out of Heaven and live our lives consumed by worldly ideals and passions and pleasures. May we willingly and joyfully count our lives as NOTHING. Nothing. May we truly live as though everything we have been given is God’s so out of pure joy we give it away. May we serve and serve and love and love. May we proclaim Christ and Christ crucified and Christ resurrected to everyone. May we come to the end of our lives, whether that be today or tomorrow or 70 years from now, and may we say we tried and tried…we gave up everything so that others may know Christ and know of his goodness and grace. And may we say with joy abounding from the depths of our hearts,
IT’S ALL RIGHT! FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN.