Despite what you may think about the veracity of OBE stories, the idea of a “white death” is not so far fetched, at least for a Christian. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Out of body experiences are in the spotlight these days. There’s an acronym for it: OBE, even an OBE support group. For me, growing up it was rare to hear of a person who experienced his own death and lived to tell about it. Today, however, OBE stories are not uncommon. It seems that every few months we hear about someone describing all or some of these common OBE experiences, including: bright lights, floating above the body, peaceful music, the rapid passage of time where past and present are combined as one, visions of deceased relatives, images of religious figures, a sense of moving through a tunnel or passageway in an upward spiral, encountering heavenly beings, and more. Some have claimed to have met God. Most agree that they’ve returned to this life reluctantly as the experience of being dead was a pleasant one. In many ways they claim to have actually been to their own funeral and lived to tell us what it was like. Sometimes this experience is called “white death” so as not to be confused with the real thing, or “black death.”
Despite what you may think about the veracity of OBE stories, the idea of a “white death” is not so far fetched, at least for a Christian. In fact, it may be something we should hope we do experience.
Here’s a story. In 1888 Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, awoke to read his own obituary. Although it was Alfred’s brother who had died, a reporter carelessly reported the death incorrectly. The shock was overwhelming because Alfred was able to see himself as the world saw him: the great industrialist who’d made an immense fortune from explosives. This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of his life. As he read the obituary with horror, he resolved to make clear to the world the true meaning and purpose of his life. This could be done through the final disposition of his fortune. His last will and testament–an endowment of six annual prizes for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and world peace–would be the expression of his life’s ideals and ultimately would be why we would remember him. The result was one of the most valuable of prizes given to those who have done the most for the cause of world peace. It’s called today, the “Nobel Peace Prize.” (Source Unknown.)
Nobel was fortunate; because he had the opportunity to experience how his own obituary might affect the outcome of the part of his life not yet lived, he was given, in this sense, a second chance at life. How about us? Isn’t it important that we experience, in a very real sense, a death to sin in our lives? All of us deal with sin in our lives and until we put those sins to death, that part of us devoted to sinning, will we ever start living the Christian life God has intended for us? Today would be a good day to put that part of us on the altar of sacrifice and end it all. It is a “white death” experience that we will come back from with a sense of an OBE that is truly pleasant and needful. Waiting until that other death experience might leave us where Alfred almost found himself, misconceived in life and confirmed in death.
We pray. Heavenly Father, we often don’t think of what life might be like if we actually put our sinful nature to death, gave it a funeral, and buried it away from our lives forever. Perhaps it is too painful to reflect On the depravity of our sinfulness. Perhaps we are afraid to confront where our life has gone. Whatever the case, we know that we need to put away sin in our life, put it to death, and move on with a new life in Christ. Forgive us Lord when we abide in sin because we are fearful or confused by what if would mean to live life without the burden that sin brings. Help us today to put sin to death in our lives and live the life you intended us to live in Christ. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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