Today I read a post by Toure’ Roberts, Senior Pastor of The Potters House at One Los Angeles. In it, he talked about NAACP Image Award winner, Chadwick Boseman best known for his roles as Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, James Brown and most notably, the Black Panther. Mr. Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and had been a member of Pastor Toure’s church.
In his post, Pastor Toure’ said that two weeks prior to his death, Mr. Boseman said that he felt he was nearing the end, to which Pastor Toure went to his home and together, they prayed for a miracle. Unfortunately, two weeks later he succumbed to the disease. After reading his post, I asked God was he preparing him or letting him know, because there is a difference. Preparing him would mean there was nothing he could do about it while letting him know meant that God was giving him an opportunity to do something about it. Though his final moments are none of my business, because Mr. Boseman was a man of faith, I wanted to know for myself. And in true Godlike fashion, He immediately provided me with an answer. Go with me to the book of Philippians.
In Philippians 1:20-24, we find Paul the Apostle writing to the Philippian church when he says, “…with all boldness…Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you…” Notice Paul said that he was ‘in a strait betwixt two.’ But what did he mean by that? The preceeding and proceeding verses lets us know that he’s speaking of life or death. Like Mr. Boseman, Paul knew that he was approaching a crossroads. Either he could ‘depart, and be with Christ’ or he could ‘abide in the flesh’ which would be needful for the Philippian church. Therefore whether he lived or whether it was time for him to die was totally up to him. Paul chose to live.
Another instance of someone approaching a crossroad appears in the book of Isaiah.Isaiah 38:1-5 reads, ‘In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet…went to him and said…“Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” Then Hezekiah…prayed to the Lord…And the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years.’ Though God had already told him that he was going to die, God spared his life. When you read that you can assume that the determining factor was the fact that he prayed but that’s not all. The reason God spared his life was because of covenant. God said, “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father…” God had made a covenant with David and his descendants, which included Hezekiah. And if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, so are you!
What I want you to remember is that when both men came to the crossroad of death, choice and mercy met them there. Am I saying that choice and mercy met Mr. Boseman? I don’t know but being the real-life superhero that he was, how apropos that God is allowing you to read about his life so that you can know what to do in order to save yours.