Life is a precious gift! The thing is how many of us really recognize this? How often do we get so wrapped up in our desires, our work, our families, sports and the stresses in our lives and forget the simpler and often more important things? We tend to just get lost in the living and the doing and forget to take time to just be! We live in a culture where we are much better known for what we do in our lives than who we are, where achievement and status are often celebrated more than who we are individually, more than character. How often we are too busy to reconnect with a special someone or ignore that feeling in the back of our mind we should call or visit but we are just too busy? Life goes faster with each year; the pace just continues to gain momentum. Once in a while, something will come along to grab our attention. It could be anything from the birth of a new child or grandchild; the celebration of someone’s marriage; an accident or diagnosis that takes your breath away; even that dreaded middle of the night phone call. Anyone of these forces our attention elsewhere, even if just for a moment. The mad pace halts for just a bit and we absorb the joy, shock or pain.
I have experienced several such moments this year, the last even more personal than the ones prior to it. In an effort to take care of my health because of family history and good preventative care, I choose to have recommended tests for one my age. Screening tests they call them. One after the other came back great. My doctor suggested one further test, this time the results lead to yet another. Individual details at this point really aren’t important other than the doctor’s report knocked the wind out of me. It made me ponder in detail the frailness of life for a time. Honestly, people face these kinds of things daily and those around them stand faithfully beside them encouraging, praying for and comforting them. This was my experience as well, but there is One, who can comfort us like no other! It is my encounter with Him that I wish to share.
Let me begin by saying upfront, I am a part of the most amazing, life-giving body of believers on the planet and my God is amazing beyond compare! For those who don’t believe, you may laugh, mock or scorn and that is ok, my prayer is that you will be touched by many encounters with Jesus just as I have been in my life. Once that happens, you will never be the same.
Sunday we were even earlier than normal and entered the sanctuary while the praise team was practicing. A little insight on my frame of mind: I was very aware of my mortality this day and truly felt like a “ticking time bomb.” I felt this way despite the fact that I fully believe the Word of God is true and that Jesus Christ came to not only be our Savior, but our Deliverer, our Freedom, our Joy, and our Healer. I believe the Word when it says, “by His stripes, we are healed.” I am also human and often times the enemy of our souls throws fiery darts of doubt and fear. So, here I am standing at the back of the room and listening to the words “you are peace, you are peace when my fear is crippling….you are life, you are life, in you death has lost its sting…” the beautiful words to Forever Reign!
The Holy Spirit met me right there and nothing was the same!! I heard this still small voice gently say, “You were never promised tomorrow and neither is anyone else, life is precious and I hold it and you in the palm of my hand.” Peace and resolve flooded my soul!
After praying over the services to come, and greeting some friends, I took my seat. Our precious Pastor approached me and said, “we have been praying for you, how are you?” I shared the doctor’s diagnosis (the facts) and told him, I am believing (the Word) for healing, to be healed and whole. I was moved so much by these moments that my resolve was set, my mind made up. Life is precious! I am not promised tomorrow! I will do my best to life fully, and as fearlessly as I know how, I will worship with abandon, trust God fully and love those He has blessed me with an open heart. We are indeed not promised tomorrow nor are we promised our next breath, it is In Him we live and breathe and have our being, let’s get out there and really live, get in touch with what really matters in our lives, embrace each moment and make the most of it. Oh there will be ups and downs and the enemy will try to send fear and distractions, he will try to steal our peace and joy but the bottom line is he is a defeated foe and a liar. We have the victory in Christ both in this life and the next and we are more than conquerors, let’s live like it!!