BOWING TO THE INEVITABLE

I believe it was Oliver Wendell Homes, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court who said, “I must bow to the inevitable.”  Joshua, David, and many other Bible characters in essence said the same, “I must go the way of all the earth” (Joshua 23:14; I Kings 2:2; II Timothy 4:6). Paul said, “for all things are yours” one of which includes death (I Corinthians 3:21; Hebrews 9:27).   George W. Dehoff said, “I see my time is up.”  These are mind stirring words.

PHILOSOPHICALLY:   Unless the Lord returns first, we will all bow to death.   The uncertainty of physical life and death is as water spilled upon the ground (II Samuel 14:14).   It is as a tale that is told (Psalm 90:9).   There are mountains and valleys, things come and go, and in the affairs of life we face inevitablilites of many pursuits.   In business, careers, professions, and occupations, we ascend and descend the ladder of success.   Infirmities, sickness, and handicaps teach us many things(Psalm 119:67,71).   Losing our life only to find it, Matthew 10:39, is what counts.   Accepting and preparing to meet these reflect wisdom (Psalm 90:12).

PERSONALLY: The brevity of life is short at best (Job 14:1-2; James 4:14).   Realization of this helps us to examine ourselves (II Corinthians 13:5).   We must let go, turn loose, and give up our control.   Whatever power we have is short lived. We did not bring anything into this world and we will not take anything out of this world (I Timothy 6:7).  It is hard for some to realize they cannot take their fame and fortune with them .  We will not accomplish all that we desired to do.   We come to our end- not published.   Humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God creates a right attitude (I Peter 5:6).   As the “changing of the guard” takes place, we should reflect our past and reevaluate our position.   It is a humiliating feeling, to some extent, to turn over the reigns to others even our children.   Preachers, elders, all of us must yield to the oncoming generation.   Our attitude toward life will largely determine our destiny.   So we should be gentle, patient, and apt to teach II Timothy 2:24, as our students will soon be our teachers.

PENITENTLY: Repentance must be the key ingredient in bowing to the inevitable.   No need to reject and rebel against this certainty.   When we submit to the transference of power willingly, things work much better.   Hanging on the purse strings too long brings shame many times because of dementia.   It is the process of daily repentance that we come to ourselves as the wayward son (Luke 15:17).   Inevitability forces repentance or fatal forfeiture of life.  It seems we should desire to repent graciously.

PURPOSELY: When it comes time to retire, we realize by now how frail we are.   Priorities are rearranged.   Some things are more important than others.   It is time to set our house in order, II Kings 20:1, more precisely.   Hesitantly, we begin to get rid of things.   Giving away our books and jewelry should be done with some deliberation.   “Then whose shall these things be “(Luke 12:20).   Preparing to meet God becomes more real as we face the sunset of life (Amos 4:12).   Prearranging our funeral is in order.

PROGRESSIVELY: We die a little daily (I Corinthians 15:31).   As we grow wiser we seem to grow weaker physically.   “Lining up our ducks in a straight row” comes shortly but surely.   The wears and tears of life give us time to reflect and change things that need to be corrected.   Adjusting to the slowing down process and gracefully bowing to the inevitable comes as a shock at best.  Monitoring and adjusting should be earnestly and reverently administered.   Although, we have been preparing for these last days, it seems they are met with some frustration at last.  However, Christians have been looking forward to this time.  Perhaps, this is summarized best “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is a hand.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only but unto all them also that love his appearing” (II Timothy 4:6-8).   “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end” (Deuteronomy 32:29).  To have our names written in the lamb’s book of life, Revelation 21:27, assures us of a glorious transition from earth to heaven.

“Even so, come Lord Jesus”, Revelation 22:20, is the quest of this life.   “Make it as sure as you can” Matthew 27:65 because inevitably we will bow to the inevitable.

Bill Graddy
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