Give me a word, Lord: GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Hebrews 11:5-6 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Over my vast years of practicing as a family nurse practitioner, I have encountered death more times than I would like. It seems that I am encountering it much more frequently these days. Lives are being lost due to COVID-19, accidents, and even suicides. It seems that every week brings news of another person who has lost their life. I’ve spent a lot of time counseling with families who have lost their loved ones recently. That is never an easy thing to do, but there is one thing that gets me through: FAITH. Faith in Christ gives me the words and strength to face these challenging times. I couldn’t do anything without Him.

Hebrews 11 is a great chapter to remind us about faith, and it gives examples of a few great men of faith. Enoch is mentioned briefly in verses 5 and 6, but his faith walk wasn’t a brief one. Enoch was Adam’s great-great-great-great grandson, the great grandfather of Noah, and the father of Methuselah, the longest living man in the Bible. Enoch lived 365 years on earth, and God just took him away. (Genesis 5:24) He didn’t die. God literally snatched him away to be with Him. Yes, God took Enoch straight to heaven, and he never had to experience death. He was spared from death. Why? The scripture tells us that Enoch pleased God, He was a man of integrity. He walked in obedience to God and complied with God’s laws for all of his 365 years on earth. He was so closely engaged with the heavenly Father that the Father simply transferred his presence from this life on earth to God’s presence in heaven in a heartbeat. Apparently, he really, really pleased God! The Bible only speaks of one other that was “taken away”: Elijah the prophet.

When we look at the life of Enoch, we must remember that he too lived in a tumultuous time. He was here on earth prior to the flood, and if you recall, the flood was God’s wrath on the earth because of the sinful living of man at the time. I look around at this world today, and I’m thankful when I see a rainbow because I remember God’s promise that He would never flood the earth again. Yet, I know that a cleansing is coming. The people have strayed so far from God, and it is hard to live a life pleasing to the Father when there is so much turmoil surrounding us. Although the situation for Enoch was much different, we see from scripture that he lived a righteous life that was pleasing to God despite his surroundings.

Enoch was gone in a heartbeat, but he was not forgotten. He was remembered in scripture, and his legacy lives on. He leaves behind a legacy of faithfulness to God. When I think of those who have lost their lives in recent days, I think of the legacy that each one left behind. I can’t help but ponder what kind of legacy I am leaving. What will people say about me after I am gone? Will I be remembered as a child of God? Will I be remembered for my faith or will my friends and family remember all of those times that my faith was weak? Friends, we have choices to make in life, but the most important choice we make is whether or not we are going to place complete faith in Christ or not. I take time every now and then to look back at my past to see how far I’ve grown, and each year, I see that I have grown a little closer in m walk with God. Each year, my faith is strengthened. Each year, I walk a little more uprightly. But I’m no Enoch. I know that there are still areas in my life that need a whole lot of improvement, but thankfully, God isn’t finished with me yet. I’m going to keep striving to live a faith filled life with prayers that when I’m gone, though I may be forgotten, my faith in Christ will not be.

Let us continually walk in faith sharing the gospel so that when we are gone, Christ will not be forgotten! May others see Christ in us.

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