The Sting of Death–On the mixed blessing of modern medicine.

“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

I am 35 years old and relatively sting-free from that old nemesis, Death. Had I been born even 20 years earlier this would probably not be so.

At the age of 3 months our first daughter developed Pyloric Stenosis. While a relatively common ailment, and now relatively quick to remedy, had she not had the needed surgery she would have starved to death.

Our second daughter was born 7 weeks early and unable to breathe on her own. Without NICU treatment she would have suffocated herself.

Last year my dad had a heart attack caused by a 90% blockage in one of his arteries. He was treated at the cardiac center and had the artery cleared.

Last week my father-in-law was in a serious accident that led to a large blood clot in the brain that required immediate surgical attention. He (and we) are now in the very lengthy process of recovery from such an injury. An injury that the neurosurgeon told us ended the life of 40% of those who have it.

I am 35 years old and relatively untouched by the sting of death.

But I cannot help but wonder what might have been. What if I had been born in 1954 instead of 1974? I would be 35 years old and would have already “lost” to death two daughters, my father, and father-in-law. I cannot help but wonder what these stings might have done in my life. Would they have embittered me toward the Lord and giver of life? Or would they have opened up grand vistas of God’s goodness I could not otherwise have known?

At a recent conference Carl Trueman remarked that he is often asked what age of history he could live in if he had his choice. He gave a very practical answer: this one. Can you imagine living in a day when catching a cold could be fatal? When epidemics actually killed millions instead of just scaring them? Dying from an infection from a splinter?

We indeed live in blessed times. But I pray that somehow I never forget that it is Christ that has removed death’s sting. Not the anesthesiologist.

Glory be to God.


2 thoughts on “The Sting of Death–On the mixed blessing of modern medicine.

  1. Hi Brad, it’s very true that we live in a technologically and medically advanced age, unfortunately the majority of problems that affect mankind go uncured.. have you ever thought to yourself why God allows suffering? I’ve found that the bible contains very satisfying answers to this question.

    If you’d like, I’d love to share some encouraging thoughts with you that I’m sure you would enjoy. 🙂

    Glad I found your blog!

  2. Jensen,

    Actually I have spent very little time thinking about why God allows suffering. I just read Genesis 3 and that pretty much cleared it up for me. I generally tend to think that God “allows” very little.

    The Lord gives, the Lord takes away.

    Shall we accept good from the Lord but not bad?

    Is their calamity in the city and the Lord has not sent it?

    Man, in his sinfulness, has wrecked the universe. God, in the mighty redemption of His Son, is setting it right again. I look forward to the day when creation’s groanings are turned to hallelujahs.

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