Keith Wishum: As good as dead

Published 3:42 pm Saturday, August 25, 2018

“Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” Mark Twain once said. Larry Green would agree. Green is not dead either. Oh, they thought he was. Even said he was. Green was walking home in January 2005, in Louisburg, N.C., when he was struck by a car. Paramedics called to the scene could find no signs of life and declared him dead. Green’s body was taken to a morgue.
Two hours later, however, a medical examiner detected signs of life and had Green transferred to a hospital. He remained hospitalized for two months for a severe head injury, but Green is very much alive. In fact, after months of treatment, he is now speaking again. News reports did not include what he had to say about those who declared him dead, just that he’s talking again.
Long ago, another man was declared “as good as dead.” He wasn’t in an accident; he was just old. Very old. Because of his hundred years, people couldn’t help but chuckle when he spoke about becoming a father. Even his wife snickered. After all, she was 90 herself. Difficult to imagine either of these two producing offspring.
But Abraham believed God’s promise that he would be the father of a great nation. “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah’s womb was also dead” (Romans 4:18-19).
Did you catch that? Abraham faced the facts. He knew that he was “as good as dead.” But, he still held on to hope and trusted in God despite the odds and the obstacles. The pages of the Bible are filled with people who, though “as good as dead” rose to the occasion by the power of God.
What about you? Do you ever feel “as good as dead”? If so, remember Abraham. And, remember Jesus, who not only was as good as dead, but was dead. Even that was no match for the will of God.
Whatever odds and obstacles stand against us, the contest is not over; the battle is not lost. God delights in breathing new life into those who are as good as dead.

Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church, Americus.