Why Am I Still Here?

If God meant my salvation to be solely for the purpose of me knowing Him, fellowshiping with Him and fellow saints in spirit and in truth, then why am I still here? Because really, I can do all these things in Heaven. If these things were God's sole purpose, then God, who wastes nothing, would have let me die and called me to glory right after He gave me eternal life in Jesus Christ.

But He didn't. Why?

Because God's sole purpose in saving me wasn't just so I could go to church, remain in a Christian bubble and enjoy fellowship with Him and other believers. God's purpose in saving me and leaving me here on earth was so I could be salt and light to the world—an ambassador of Christ—holding fast to the Word of life in a crooked and perverse generation (Mt 5:13-16, Php 2:14-16).

"I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he has inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live...Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful. The LORD preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
-Psalm 116:1-2; 5-7, ESV

My Father God has mercifully and abundantly given me the treasures of Heaven through the abiding life of Jesus Christ within me. To have Christ is to have everything. There is nothing greater in this life or the next. To know Christ as my Savior, to be claimed by Him as His own, to be loved perfectly in His holiness and righteousness, to be established as a child of the Most High God—provides the most infinite pleasures of being alive.

Because I have the greatest of all treasures (Jesus Christ) in this jar of clay (my body), though I might feel deep sorrow for the sad news I received this past Wednesday about my heart, I am not left to wallow in the cavernous pit of self, but I am given the great privilege to cry out to my Father and my God in the midst of my affliction. And as Christ did for His disciples when He walked this earth, He still does for us today...He immediately lifts us from sinking in our circumstances (Mt 14:29-31) and fixes our eyes back on Him...where they belong. So when I was told a few days ago that I have an uncommon heart arrhythmia called sick sinus syndrome on top of all my other ailments, and needed a pacemaker, I was disheartened that my tent (my body) continues to rapidly fall apart. But when I cried out the my Father God, as He promised, His Holy Spirit brought to mind all that Jesus has already taught me through His Word, and I was strengthened.

"For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

"So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil."
-2 Corinthians 5:1-12, ESV (emphasis mine)

It seems I have many "uncommon" or rare diseases and conditions that constantly put me in the peculiar position of sharing with medical staff and others, why I believe the Lord has allowed these painful health issues to infiltrate my life. For example, when my Cardiologist confirmed what my Cardiac Electrophysiologist already told me the week prior (but I didn't want to believe him), that I needed a pacemaker, he said, "The reason why you need your arrhythmia treated with a pacemaker and possibly with a beta-blocker as well, is because you don't want to be driving down the highway at 65 mph and pass out, or go into cardiac arrest." I said, "Yes, that occurred to me after I had to swallow my pride about not wanting a pacemaker and get back on heart meds at age 46. But when I considered the possibility that my pride might cause injury or death to someone else, I was ready to receive whatever you were going to say I needed. I trust the Lord to speak through you." He quickly responded, "Well, you don't want to injure yourself either. I mean, you want to see 47, don't you?" I smiled and said nothing because I had already explained to him before that no matter what trials come in this life, including one that may take my life, Christ is always with me so I'm not concerned for myself, but for those who may not know Him.

I'm in a win-win situation; others may not be.

When I wonder why I am still here and why I can't go Home yet, rather than remain in my whining state, I speak the words of God to myself; some that I've shared here, and many others I've shared elsewhere. And when I turn away from looking at myself and my circumstances and lift my eyes to the hills where my help comes from—from the Maker of heaven and earth, I am where my soul most delights to be...at the feet of Jesus.

"Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God."
-2 Corinthians 7:1, ESV