Steven Paul Jobs
February 24, 1955 – October 05, 2011
(Story below originally posted 09/2009)
Apple’s Steve Jobs’ Brush With Death
The beaming face of Steve Jobs was the focal point of the stage in San Francisco recently. The 54 year old founder and CEO of Apple Inc. was greeted by a 57 second standing ovation as he appeared at his company’s annual media event. It was more than obvious that he was glad, really glad to be there. He just about wasn’t there.
Picture Credit: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
PROCESSING THE BAD NEWS – 2005
Billionaire Jobs had faced the possibility of death five years earlier. In 2005, giving the Commencement Address at Stanford University he told the graduates:
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas…The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy…when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept: No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.
BAD NEWS AGAIN – 2009
The computer guru has had his share of health problems. On January 14, 2009 he announced he was taking an extended medical leave because his health problems were “more complex” than he originally thought. In fact, he was a very sick man suffering from end-stage liver disease. He was the sickest patient on the list waiting for a liver transplant at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee.
GOOD NEWS OUT OF BAD NEWS
A car crash claimed the life of a young person. In life, that young person had generously decided to donate their organs. When organ donor cards are signed, potential donors do not specify who the recipients can be. Whoever is most in need qualifies. Their only desire is that, by their death, some other person might be saved. This time, the life that was saved was Steve Jobs.
In June, 2009, wearing his trademark long-sleeved black shirt and jeans, Mr. Jobs walked out on to the Apple stage to a thunderous applause and said:
“I’m very happy to be here today with you all. As some of you may know, about five months ago I had a liver transplant. So I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs. And I wouldn’t be here without such generosity.
“So I hope all of us can be as generous and elect to become organ donors. I would like to take a moment to thank everybody in the Apple community for the heartfelt support I got too. It really meant a lot.” (http://www.appleiphoneschool.com/2009/09/09/steve-jobs-return-video/)
Steve Jobs’ life was saved by the death of another person. Is it any wonder his face was beaming with delight over his new lease on life? Is it any wonder he spoke with such gratitude as he reflected on the generosity of the person who had chosen donate their organs to save another’s life?
IS THERE A SPIRITUAL LESSON HERE?
Have you ever thought about the generosity of the One who chose to give-up His life by dying on a cross in order for you to be saved? Your spiritual disease of sin is far worse than any form of cancer. Without the generous intervention of Another you are facing certain eternal death. Here’s what the Bible says about such a spiritual condition:
“The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23
“The soul who sins shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20
Sin is such a deadly spiritual disease it leaves us completely without strength to save ourselves. Left to our own efforts, we would face eternal death and separation from God. But consider this amazing piece of news:
When we were yet without strength (to save ourselves) in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6
Why would He lay down His life to save us? The only explanation is the generous and loving heart of God.
“God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“Hereby perceive we the love of God because He laid down His life for us…” 1John 3:16
The gift of an organ to save the life of another is outstanding generosity. With the urgency of Steve Job’s physical health needs, what would you think if he had refused the gift or had shown anything less than heart-felt gratitude to the donor?
Spiritually, the donor was God. He gave His Son to die for your sin sickness. In another sense, the donor was Christ Himself because He willingly laid down His own life upon the Cross to save you.
Have you ever accepted the gift? Have you thanked God for generously giving His Son to die for your sins?
“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
To refuse the donor and the gift means you will miss Heaven and eternal life forever.