We all know the day is coming, but some of us speed away in denial. The headlights of multiple vehicles alert us that a funeral procession is coming our way. Some of us stop, out of respect, by pulling over to the right side of the road. Others plow ahead.
Sometimes, it takes the shock value of the sudden death of someone we know, to really get our attention. A friend, from years past, went to the beach recently with her family. There, she fell into a diabetic coma, and a heart attack followed, leading her into the arms of Jesus. Friends and family are still shocked.
I cannot run away from the reality of my mortality when I look in the mirror and see the eight-inch scar running down my hairy chest. A daily reminder of my open heart surgery. The scars on both of my shoulders, from surgeries, to hopefully wipe out squamous skin cancer, are still visible. What’s next?
My days are numbered, as are yours. Job makes it clear. He told God, “You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.” (14:5, NLT) We are all standing in line, waiting our turn. However, we don’t know if we are closer to the front, or at the end.
What do we do in the meantime? Doing nothing ain’t it. A friend of mine told me a while back, “You know so & so is just waiting to die.” I responded, “What do you mean?” She said, “Since retirement, he has just sat on the couch, in his house for over 20 years. He’s just wasting away, waiting to die. He doesn’t seem to have any purpose.”
Worrying about what will happen to us, has been proven to be of no help. Matthew said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (6:27, NIV) There is only one four-letter word that represents all of Christianity for believers who are still breathing and struggling and walking their own journey.
I didn’t see it until I read the “whole” Bible, not just little Sunday School parts here and there. It took me three years to read “all” of it, to chew on it, to digest it. When I look up at the sky, I see it, even if it’s a small patch of blue, surrounded by dark, depressing clouds.
The word is H-O-P-E. Hope that God really keeps His promises. Hope that He really forgives us. Hope that He really sees every last one of us and our dilemmas. Hope that He really hears every letter of every word of every prayer. Hope that God will really give us emotional and physical strength for one more day. Hope that God really has a purpose for our lives. Hope. Short word. Major implications!
So what are you and I “really” doing with our lives if we claim to have hope?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon” except for picture of people standing in line: source unknown