Surviving and Living

While aboard the Africa Mercy, we would get into some interesting conversations.  While visiting Kpalime with a couple of the crew, I got into a conversation (or argument) about the difference between surviving and living in the world.  Is there a difference?

After fasting forty days and forty nights, he [Jesus] was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'”

 – Matthew 4:2-4

When this verse was brought up, my first response took my friend off guard.  “But you can survive on it.”

Throughout history, we see people survive on bread and water.  In old jail cells.  Throughout the Holocaust.  Bread will allow your body to keep working, our heart continuing to pump.  We won’t have that much strength, but we can continue to survive.

Though we can survive, can we actually live on just bread?  If we have no strength, can we actually live?  Can we do anything other than sit there and breath? 

There is a difference between surviving and living.  Each of us survive.  But do we truly live? 

We go through life, thinking we are living to the fullest, but really, we are just surviving because we go day by day, hoping that everything works out.  We put our trust in money.  In ourselves.  In our relationships.  In everything but what really matters.

The Word of God sustains us and allows us to live.  To actually live, rather than just survive. 

With God, we have so much more, spiritually, physically and mentally.  We enter life with a whole new mindset, that gets us through the day, looking forwards to something bigger, but yet learning how to bring that love to the present moment. 

Living is more than not dying.  It is experiencing something that cannot be put into words. 

Recently, I’ve been watching Discovery Channels “The Colony”, in which a group of people fight to survive in a post-apocalyptic setting.  They barely have enough food not to starve to death, but you can see the effects of them barely having enough to get by.  They lose weight.  They lose tempers.  They loose their sanity (slowly, but you can see the effects).

While they are surviving, they are not fully living.  They are fighting for each and every day, but they do not have the strength to look farther into the future, because they are not physically capable of living. 

We are just like them.  Surviving from day to day.  No hope.  No peace.  We are incapable of living unless we give our lives over to something bigger.  God’s word, Holy Scripture, is the bread of life and what sustains us. 

So, are we really living?  Or just surviving?

God Bless and PEACE



  1. […] Several years ago, while aboard the M/V Africa Mercy, I wrote briefly on the difference between surviving and living when it comes to our […]

  2. Anonymous Said:

    I totally agree with this cuz yeah were surviving in this world not actually living. .

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