Not every soul lives to be “full of years”.
Some are snatched away when life has barely begun while others live a bit but not long enough. Even those whose lives span decades seem gone too soon for those left behind.
Dominic died just six weeks short of his twenty-fourth birthday.
My mother lived four days past her eighty-first.
We didn’t expect either of them to leave us when they did. Yet, here we are.
A day dawned that did not include them and there will be a sunrise that does not include me.
There is a limit to my opportunity to leave a legacy of love, of influence and of purpose to those who come behind. I want it to be one that lasts, that matters and that has eternal impact.
That’s why it matters how I spend my days.
Because days make up weeks which make up months, years and decades and then it’s over.
That doesn’t make me sad-because what comes next is more wonderful than what I have here-no matter how wonderful I think it is.
But it makes me thoughtful.
Paul reminds the Ephesians:
“Look carefully then how you walk!
“Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.”
~Ephesians 5:15-17 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
While the days are often long, the years are short.
I don’t get a “do over” but I can do better.
God has prepared good works for me to do. My responsibility is to look for them and to do them.
I LOVE these verses in Ephesians:
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG
Do you hear what Paul is saying?
God saved us from sin and death. But that’s not all!
He saved us TO a life of loving service. And He’s already set the opportunities in place for us to simply take advantage of as we walk on in our lives!
I don’t have to go out of my way to find them. I simply have to offer up myself as a living sacrifice and trade my will for His.
God never wastes anything.
Not even suffering.
I’ve served in some capacity within my local Body for my entire adult life. But when Dominic died, I found I was so broken I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to step back, nurse my shattered heart and try to heal.
But about a year and a half after he left for Heaven, I felt God nudging me to try again.
So I did.
I started sharing my struggle, my faith and my experience in daily blog posts.
What began as kind of grudging obedience to God’s prompting has become a lifeline for me and for other bereaved parents.
It takes time. It takes effort. It takes commitment.
And there are days when I don’t want to do it.
But I’m convinced it’s one of the works God prepared beforehand that I should do.
There will be a day when my work will cease and the book will be closed on my earthly life.
Until then, I will strive to remember what Jesus told His disciples: “While it is daytime, we must do the works of the One who sent Me. But when the sun sets and night falls, this work is impossible.” (John 9:4 VOICE)
What has God equipped and called YOU to do?
What experiences in your life, gifts and talents, opportunities is God weaving together so You can do the good works He’s placing in your path?
Someone needs you to share YOUR story.
Someone needs you to help them connect THEIR story to God’s story.
Look around, they’re right in front of you. ❤
This post is the second in a series I began writing for a presentation I gave last Saturday entitled “Don’t Grow Weary In Doing Well: Making Kingdom Work a Priority”.
If you want to read the first post, you can find it here: https://thelifeididntchoose.com/2020/02/07/today-is-a-gift/❤