I could see my patient struggling for air. His breathing was fast, and his face was preoccupied, etched with anxiety. The alarming of the oxygen saturation monitor didn’t help. Yet a few minutes after being put on oxygen, he was relaxing, leaning back in the bed, talking to me about how sick he had been, and about how terrible it is not to be able to breathe, and about how much the oxygen helped.
“Funny how much we need that stuff,” I said with a laugh.
“Yes,” he said, thoughtfully, “And it’s all free.”
He didn’t look much like a philosopher, with long, greasy grey hair, an unkempt beard, and nondescript clothing. But His statement was the most profound thing I heard all day.
We all know that costs are going up. Some people think about it in Wall Street sized terms. Most of us around here think of it in terms of the cost of a gallon of gas and a loaf of bread. I suppose that soon enough we’ll fall over the fiscal cliff and inflation is going to skyrocket and all that. But did you ever think how much of life is free, and can never be under the greedy control of mankind?
Yes, the air we breathe is free, all of it. The sunshine that warms us is free. The colors in the sunsets are free, and so is the singing of the birds. The rain that refreshes our land is free, and so is the wind that fills us with vigor and clears away the smog.
And just think, God gives us all this without requiring us to earn a bit of it! “He causes His sun to shine on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:45
Of course, I suppose we might observe that it doesn’t cost God a thing to create the sunshine, and paint the sunset, and send the rain, and tune the song of the birds. Would He be so generous if it cost Him something? What if it cost Him the highest price He could pay, the only thing that really mattered to Him?
Because that did happen, you know. He paid that highest price, the death of His only Son, so that you and I could come to live with Him in heaven, cleansed from all our sins. There was nothing more that He could have given for your life—your eternal life. There was no higher ransom that He could pay to save you from hell. So what does He charge for this eternal life, for which He paid so dearly?
Nothing. The only requirement is faith. Trust. Belief that He actually did it for you. Simple agreement with the facts of the case—you are the sinner that Christ died to save.
Yet so many people choose to reject this offer. They would rather have a salvation that they have to earn. The idea of taking something so magnificent without being able to do anything to deserve it, is offensive to them. Every day they breathe in God’s free air, and enjoy His free light, and listen to His free concerts, and tour His free outdoor art galleries, and live the physical life that He gave them so freely, and yet they reject the eternal life that He desires them to have above anything else. Just because it’s free.
Tell me, does that make sense?