Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Wisdom of Experience Versus the Joy of Smaller Jeans

Youth is not all it's assumed to be. You may be able to run faster and fit into smaller jeans when you're young, but youth is not often blessed with the wisdom of years. 

In the big scheme of things, the wisdom of experience counts for considerably more than smaller jeans.

Today, we're talking about aging and the issue of physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia.

This movement seeks to "end suffering" and "give dignity to dying". It's gaining support around the world. 

This is a terrifying trend. It opens up a vast array of "reasons" to speed the dying process. It changes our view of death. It denies the blessing of suffering. It makes abuse of the system much easier. 

This is a slippery slope down which our nation has begun to slide, and we must take a stand. Reevaluate death and dying. Reconsider what we assume will bring dignity and lessen suffering.

Life is precious to God. He holds life and death in His hands. What about "thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13) is hard to understand? To take the ending of life into our own hands is nothing short of sin. 

All life matters because all life is valuable to God. It should be valuable to us, too, but I'm afraid we care most about all life that is just like our life. 

Skin that's the same color as ours. 

Age that's the same age as ours. 

Circumstances and choices that are the same as ours.

God is the creator and author of life, and He cares about all of us, no matter how old or young we are. He loves us, and He doesn't want to leave us in our sin. He wants us to change to become more like His Son, who said, "Love God. Love others. Follow me." He often uses circumstances to bring us to the change point we don't always want, but almost always need.

I understand that we spend an inordinate amount of money in the last year of life. That's partly because people say, "Do all you can do, Doc." They don't have any idea what that means, but I'm telling you something important. As doctors, we know how to do more than you would ever really want us to do. Quit saying that. Instead, say, "Do what's appropriate." 

Physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia comes with the dubious "benefit" of decreasing the amount of money spent in the last days of life. Hospice care that allows death to come in God's timing is a much better choice. 

We all die, and nothing will change that. Psalms 139:16 tells us that we have a pre-ordained number of days and God knows how many there are. If you think medical science can change that, you don't understand medicine or God. (Active killing is another matter.) 

I know that we love our families dearly, and we don't want them to suffer. We want them to live and be vital and active. There comes a point in all our lives, though, when the vital and active days are over. There comes a point in many lives when our last days are hard. Our instinct is to reject those hard days, to make them stop. Bring them to a end. After all, who wants to suffer? Who wants their loved ones to suffer? To linger?

Before we go further, let's clarify what I mean by suffering. To suffer is commonly considered to feel pain or distress, but it can also mean to sustain injury, disadvantage, loss or penalty. I am not referring to the suffering of pain. Medication is available to control pain. I am referring to the emotional distress of loss of any kind or of distressing circumstances. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with suffering. I didn't like it, but God has taken me through several big bouts of suffering. Some because of my own sin. Some because of someone else's sin. Some just the natural course of living and dying. It was always hard. I was always forced to seek God in a deeper and more personal way. I was always forced to rely on His strength and not my own. It was pure agony and, eventually, total joy. 

I got through it. 

On the other side, I emerged stronger. More resilient. More loving. More forgiving.

I've had to watch people I love suffer. It was agony, then, too. It drove me to my knees and kept me there. I grew. They grew. The suffering was not wasted. It never has to be.

This movement toward assisted dying cloaks their deception in lovely words that make it sound good and noble. Please, I beg you, look at the truth. Life is precious. No matter what form it takes. Who has the right to decide whether it should end?

Four states already have laws that make physician-assisted suicide legal. There is a move in Canada to limit conscience protection for doctors who refuse to participate. In fact, there are some who feel screening for conscience should be done prior to medical school so that those who would deny medical assistance with dying would, themselves, be denied the opportunity for a medical education. If that doesn't chill your heart, it should.

Voters in Colorado will vote for more than the president in a few weeks. They will also vote for or against a law that provides "medical aid in dying". The Denver Post is running a poll to determine the trend in voters' opinions before the vote. When I first saw this poll a few days ago, the numbers were chilling. 65% of those who responded to the poll were in favor of physician-assisted suicide. It's now 56% for and 44% against, after thousands of votes cast. 

I urge you to read the article, do a little research, take the poll. (Click here for the article and poll.

If you live outside Colorado, you may wonder why this matters to you. It matters because it started in one state. It has spread to three more. Now, a fifth state is considering this law. This is a disturbing trend. Do not assume your state will be spared. Those who fund this movement will continue to press their cause, just as they have in Canada.

When voters who are undecided view the results of the poll, they may be swayed by the results they see. It is worth the effort to make your voice heard.

Today, let's pause long enough to affirm our commitment to life, in all its forms, all its stages. Let's take a stand. Teach the value of life. Live it. Pray like your life depends upon it. As incredible as it seems, one day, it might.

"Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them." Psalm 139:16 nasb

The photo above is of my grandmother. She died at an advanced age of breast cancer in the days before hospice. Her doctor and nurses made house calls, taught us to care for her, and kept her comfortable. She died at home with family around her. She knew she was loved and valued every day of her life. Even when she couldn't speak, she could still hear us. My mama died the same way, at home, with family by her side. Loved and valued. They both died with dignity, and no one ever considered hastening their deaths.

In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: Glorifying God in Everything We Do

Update on Sam's Kids Boot Project: $4425 raised so far. That's 368 pairs of boots! Still a long way to go, but we've made an excellent start. In case you still want to donate, here's the link: www.globaloutreach.org/sams-kids
You can also mail a check or money order to: (Be sure to put Acct # 4852 in the subject line)
Sam's Kids
c/o Global Outreach 
PO Box 1
Tupelo MS 38802 

Thanks for your help!
#physicianassistedsuicide #euthanasia #prolife