Philippians 4: 4-5 (MSG) Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
The question was, “What would I do if I had thirty days to live?” As discussed in part one, we operate on a thirty-day schedule. So, to make this question as close to a reality as possible, I am asking, “What would I do if I had seven days to live?” Asking this has stirred great emotion in me and caused me to think deeply about every moment of the seven days.
My life is about relationships. The question is, how do I end those? How do I spend the hours on the phone and in person when there are only seven days? The people I care for the most and the relationships God has allowed me to have over the years would suddenly be ending.
Now on to the question. First, I would not travel. I would not go anywhere and stand in line. I would not drive to places which might cause me to get into a traffic jam. I would not sit in front of a speaker, wasting my time trying to get an order right at the drive-thru. I would focus on fostering and mending my relationships.
I hope my relationship with God would grow stronger in these seven days. To be honest, I am afraid I might be mad at God or feel cheated by Him. I would rest on the promise that God has gone and prepared a place for me in Heaven. I believe my emotions would be up and down. I get emotional just thinking about it. Seven days! I would be excited, thinking of seeing Jesus, God, Paul, Moses, David, Peter, and, of course, Esther. I believe my emotions of missing my family would be the strongest and the most demanding. I would want my family around me twenty-four hours a day. I wouldn’t sleep too much—only enough to get by.
One of my tasks would be to video myself and all my thoughts for years to come. I would write what God would have me to write on and leave a special word for my wonderful wife and the girls whom God has blessed me with.
When asking this question, another question came to mind. “Would God be enough during this event?”
I would want my family to know that God is enough during this time, because, at the end, I am going to see Him. I would want to be remembered as a person who loved God and knew God.
It reminds me of a dear friend’s dad passing last year. At the funeral, the preacher described James Rodgers with words like, happy, loving, respected, concerned about others, a righteous man, a giving man, a man who loved God and taught his children to love God, and a man who loved others and taught his children how to love others. I pray someone will speak these words about me one day.
Because I have seen so much death during my life, I noticed something about this family that was different. They had a peace that their dad was sitting right where God had promised. They understood that God is enough. That is the question here. In the midst of a loss, is God enough?
A couple of years ago, I made several promises to myself. I promised to give a word of encouragement to a person like it was my last word. I promised to kiss my daughters like it was my last kiss. I promised to tell my wife that I love her and kiss her every day before she left for work—like it was my last time. I promised to give a hug to a person like it was my last time to give a hug. I promised to touch someone’s life like it was the last time they would ever see or hear a word.
There is no promise of tomorrow. There is no promise of eyesight, hearing, smelling or even walking tomorrow. There is no promise that we will be able to go to a person and mend a relationship; life is too short for these petty fault-finding arguments. She made me mad. I don’t like the way they do that. I can’t believe he would do that. He’s such a selfish person. I don’t like him. I can’t stand her! These words just might go to the grave with you. Life is short, but our culture has decided we can do it tomorrow. I will go to church tomorrow. I will ask God for this tomorrow. I will mend that relationship tomorrow. I will. I will. I will. What happens if you can’t? What if tomorrow doesn’t come?
So, I would not spend my last days on some things you expected. I will not let death have influence on my story of life. Death has only one goal for me and that is to unite me with my maker, God! Others may not know where they will go when death occurs; that is sad, but none the less, a reality. You have had time to reconsider and stop relying on your own physical efforts to obtain a peaceful life and realize where you are going when you die. But maybe you haven’t made that decision yet.
We don’t put a great deal of thought into the subject of death, mostly because we think in terms of tomorrow. Will tomorrow get here? Who knows? But if it does, I will be ready to go another day, not in the grind, but in the joy of living. I will be thankful that God has given me another day to make a difference here on this earth, so I had better use it wisely.
Day seven! Giving God Glory and knowing God is enough! Loving on my family and grateful that they know God is enough!