There are many things that I love about the internet and technology. I love writing here and talking to you all on Instagram stories. I love producing a podcast and listening to my favorite podcasts. I love ordering books on Amazon and getting perspectives from around the world. Something I don’t love is the constant influx of news. It’s not that I want to bury my head under the sand, ostrich-like in my intentional ignorance. But it’s overwhelming to get reports of injustice and brokenness and suffering happening continually all over the world. I find myself longing for my true home more and more often.
In the middle of Philippians 1, Paul is debating between life and death. He says he would rather have death because then he gets to be with Christ. Honestly that sounds pretty good to me some days. I long for the glory of new creation. I desire to be with Jesus and not fight to remember Him in the busyness. I would gladly be rid of the sin that hurts myself and those around me. Then Paul says something shocking. He says he would choose life because it’s fruitful labor, because it’s progress and joy in the faith for others. He’s postponing the ultimate joy to continue the mission of God.
He was facing a potentially gruesome death. He wasn’t trying to skip that by choosing life though; his life was one many would choose. He had physical problems. He was weighed down with worry over the state of the believers that he was serving. He was frequently beaten and stoned for sharing the gospel with the lost. He had been abandoned and deserted by people who had once stood by him.