America’s Opioid Problem
“O Lord, help me understand my mortality and the brevity of life! Let me realize how quickly my life will pass! Look, you make my days short-lived, and my life span is nothing from your perspective. Surely all people, even those who seem secure, are nothing but vapor.” Psalm 39:4-5
Nothing but Vapor
Life is short and the older I get the more that rings true. Death often comes suddenly, unexpected and uninvited onto the scene. Young lives with so much life ahead of them, swept away into eternity, leaving those behind to ponder the lost possibilities. What could have been? Rich full lives, no less tragic, taking with them ages of wisdom, no longer present to tap into for guidance. One thing is certain, one day we will all face our own mortality individually.
Will it be on your time table? Will it be on your terms? We like to think so. We plan our retirement years as if we’ll live indefinitely. But in reality, we really have little to no control ourselves. Jesus spoke a parable about a wealthy man that says to himself,“…You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you.” Luke 12:19-20 NET
In 1997, my 17-year-old cousin who I was close to died in an automobile accident. At that point, I’d been resisting God for several years. I knew I wasn’t living right. But I was determined to live life to its fullest without God. My plan was to enjoy life while I was young and then settle down later. Through losing my cousin, who was more than a decade younger than me, I realized the critical flaw in my thinking. Like many of you, I assumed that I had plenty of time to change the course of my life in the future.
In reality, life is fleeting. None of us have the guarantee of tomorrow. The Bible describes our entire lives as nothing more than a vapor. A puff of smoke across the chasm of time, hardly noticeable. Here one second, gone the next. A decision delayed to commit your life to Christ is in effect no decision at all.
The Opioid Epidemic
A horrific reminder that life is fleeting going on right now in America is the Opioid crisis. The statistics available from the government are staggering, labeling it as an Opioid Epidemic. It’s the worst drug epidemic in the history of our Country. Death by drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death, claiming a new life about every eighteen minutes. And yet there were enough opioid prescriptions written in 2014, to give every adult in America their own bottle of pills.
I witnessed the crisis up close and personal this week as a young man was rolled into the Emergency room of a local hospital. His girlfriend drove him to the hospital unconscious and dropped him off seeking help. The last words I heard one nurse calling to another was, “Can you get a pulse? Is he alive?” I honestly don’t know what happened to him? Was he one of the latest victims of the opioid epidemic? One of the eighty that lost their lives that day across the country? I hope not. I hope his girlfriend got him there in time for the medical staff to administer the Naloxone to save him. If so, I pray he also finds the help he needs to recover from a life of addiction.
I hope you’ll consider what I’m telling you. Life is short. Your soul, however, is eternal. Which are you placing the most weight on? Which are you planning for the most? Like me in my twenties and thirties, are you more concerned with living for today versus living for God? Have you heard plenty of sermons but never committed your life to Jesus? Do you know him?
If not, you can pray right now:
Thank you for dying for me. Forgive me for my sins. I’m tired of running from you. Please come into my life and save me. I believe you died upon a cross for my sins. In your precious name, amen.
Help for the Addicted
In closing, I feel compelled to acknowledge that there could very possibly be those reading this right now that are struggling with opioid addiction themselves. If that’s you, please, please, please follow this link to find resources available to you in your area HELP. You can get free. WITH God all things are possible!