I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Death had its Grip”

Death had its Grip

The air is deathly still and the sun beats down in waves across the dry, barren desert floor. The Man stands gazing out across the parched land. He reaches back and lifts His hair up off His neck and gazes up at the sun.

He drops His hand and turns to gaze at the distant mountains. A vulture squawks as it circles above a short distance ahead. “Be gone!” the Man demands and the vulture flies off toward the mountains.

Walking in the direction where the vulture had hovered, He stops next to a desert shrub. The rattle of a rattle snake fills His ears and looking down he sees the snake coiled and ready to strike. He points His index finger directly at the snake and says nothing. The snake suddenly uncoils and slithers off in the opposite direction.

Continuing ahead He sees what appears to be something lying on the desert floor. He can’t make out what it is at this distance but His Spirit tells Him that whatever it is needs help. He rushes across the hot cracked ground toward the object and upon arriving He sees it is a man lying face down.

Kneeling beside the man He places His hand on his neck and detects no pulse. The Man stands, looks toward heaven and prays. Sweat rolls down His back as He leans over the dead man and with all Authority given to Him by His Father He commands the dead man to rise.

The man lying on the ground takes a deep breath and slowly rolls onto his back. His eyes slowly open and with blurred vision He sees the Man kneeling over him. He raises a hand above his eyes to block the sun’s glare.

The Man offers him a drink of water from His wine skin and the man greedily grabs it and begins to drink. “Go slow,” the Man tells the stranger. “What is your name?” He asks as the man takes another swallow of the water.

“Jethro.” The man answers. “Who are you?” He hands the wine skin back to the Man.

“I am the I Am.” The Man answers.

“Where am I am?” the man asks as he tries to sit up.  His hands are scorched, his face sunburned, and sweat has soaked his clothes.

“You are in the desert. You were lost but now you are found.”

The man looks around at the vast desert that surrounds him and states, “You saved me. How can I repay you? How did you find me?”

The Man looks at him intently and states emphatically, “I want your life!”

“What?! But you just…”

“I just saved your life for a time. But believe in Me and you shall never die.”

~~~

John 11:26  “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

~~~

All of us have an appointed time on this earth. We work, we play, we raise our children and many of us never think farther than our hope of retirement.  In this scripture Lazarus has died but as you read the story, it isn’t the end. We mourn the loss of friends and loved ones but are they only gone for a time, like Lazarus? If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we will see our loved one again, providing they, too, have Jesus as their Savior.  As Christians we will never die. We merely shed the flesh, step into glory, and live on for all of eternity with our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Do you believe?

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Surprise?

The wind is blowing moving the leaves on the tree branches as though God is blowing a big breath across the land. A Man walks across heavens field and looking around announces, “I am coming. Look up all ye that believe.”

The sound of horses hooves echo across the sky. Thunder rolls vibrating all that is in its path. The blast of a trumpet resounds drowning out the clap of thunder as streaks of lightning streak down from the heavens.

Gasps are heard throughout the cities. People stop and look up. “What’s happening?” is whispered as others scream in terror. “It is He!” someone shouts and tries to hide behind the corner of a building. Others have fallen to their knees and “praise be to God Almighty” is heard from reverent voices.

“I am coming” echoes off the mountains, the buildings, the clouds above.

Suddenly people are dropping like flies, graves are flying open, and others are being lifted bodily toward the sky. Thousands, millions, are gathered like swarms of locusts marching toward their heavenly home. Others lie dead, their flesh rotting like stale meat.

“I am coming,” the Man, the Great I Am shouts as His horse tramples the clouds and the sun turns to darkness. Screams, cursing, tormented souls fall silent and an eery silence fills the land.

The Man steps off His steed and looks about, looking across the devastation of bodies. Tears fill His eyes. He looks heavenward and tells His Father, “I am so sorry, Father. I warned them.”

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1Thes. 4:16-17

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