Why Do You Want to Live?
As I was studying, for the third time, Psalm 78 for comfort in my battle with cancer, God interrupted my study and asked me, “Leon, why do you want to live?”
Notice the noun of direct address—“Leon!” In literary terms, it’s called an “apostrophe,” calling a person by his given name. He got my immediate attention, especially since he hitchhiked on v 39: “He remembers that we are a passing breeze that does not return.”
I didn’t stammer, nor hesitate. I answered him in his own words from Psalm 78.
I want to live so that I can keep passing on your marvelous deeds—your wonderful, incredible, and surprising miracles and rescues you do for me “So the next generation would know the truth and tell the stories so their children can trust in God.” (7, The Message)
I want to live so that I can keep sharing your divine favors on me: You’re my rock, my redeemer ( 35); You give mercy and forgiveness (v 38); You remember I’m fragile like glass (39); You’re my leader, (52) my guide ( 53), and my inheritance (71). Your favors are like seeing my team win the Super Bowl, being inducted into the Hall of Fame, getting a blue ribbon, winning the Oscar for best actor, earning the Olympic gold medal, and even winning the lottery.
I want to live so that I can keep worshipping you in a way that will never break your heart as Israel’s idolatry and rebellion did: “Their pagan orgies provoked God’s anger; their obscene idolatries broke his heart.” (58, The Message)
“God, (my apostrophe) did I answer your question?”
“Yes! Now, Leon, (his apostrophe) abandon your life in mine so that your reasons for wanting to live keep aligning with my life and my purposes.
What is on your list of reasons for wanting to live? You can start with Psalm 78, as I did, to find out how you’ll answer the Lord God.”