Maybe we’ve got it all wrong.
|rom Matthew 10.32-42
We get so caught up in the day to day, don’t we? Our thoughts range from, ‘Where am I supposed to be? Who is expecting what out of me? Boy, the price of gas has gone up! When is my next business call? What am I making for dinner? Where is my 18-year-old son, and what is he doing right now? Will we fall further behind on our bills this month, or what? How will this job interview turn out? Will I make my meeting on time?’ On and on, the questions race across the screens in our minds, truly anchoring us to the daily-ness of life. Then, one day leads into the next.
And whether or not we realize it,
we are caught up in living out lives,
that in the scope of eternity, are at best, fleeting.
The other day I was pondering various thoughts such as these, along with some of Jesus’ teaching and how to apply it to our lives, when a text message came across my phone, and it catapulted me into another reality—that of the eternal. My friend wrote about her husband who has been fighting cancer for quite a long while, and reading of her ‘dailiness’ was a great reality check. She wrote, ‘As I pray with my main man, he smiles gently and looks at me and around me as if the angels and his family are surrounding us and he is taking account of how many are supporting, loving and praying for him. I know they are. I feel them tangibly holding us together as a couple and our family as a ‘pod’, our friends as our team, and our community as our posse.
Our pastor says he (her beloved, ‘Reb’) knows now … he knows the secret, all the glories of heaven are being revealed to him! I rejoice in those words. I know he is covered with God’s grace and peace.
On Saturday, [our children] Caili and Cole stormed our home to give their daddy their ‘see you very soon’ hugs, and love, each sharing their special thoughts. Reb wrapped them each in his arms, and kissed them showing a mother just what true love, loyalty and dedication is in a father. For that moment, I am the most blessed mother and wife in the world. Our family is solid because we have built our life on Christ’s pure grace and peace, the peace that passes all understanding.
Nothing can prepare you for this time. No amount of time—not 18 months or 18 days—is near enough time. No time is. But for each one of those More Good Days, I am thankful and beyond grateful for those moments that have taken our breath away with the love demonstrated to our family and that direct us to More Good Days FOREVER!’
Julie’s thoughts continued, ‘For right this moment, I am asking each of you to storm heaven’s gates with prayers of thanksgiving for God’s perfect timing.
I think of this verse: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.”1 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”2’3
And indeed two nights later, the Lord collected his man, and took him Home.
I had the privilege of praying with Julie and Reb about 24 hours before his home-going. There is no sweeter or more intimate place than the touch of the Divine, about to call home one of his faithful. Truly. There is sadness naturally, but no worry or anxiety about the destiny of the dear one. And that destiny is their forever home! So while we stew and spin and trouble ourselves over our daily routines, successes and failures, maybe we’ve got it all wrong—maybe we ought to be shooting for something that lasts forever, Heaven with the One who loves us most, concentrating on that which will cause our God to welcome us home with open arms, just like Reb.
With that in mind, we consider more closely what Jesus said to the Twelve, which also applies to us: “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven . . . And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”4
A prayer: Loving Father, won’t you make us a little more heavenly minded, than so earthly bound with our thoughts, pressures, concerns, plans and even fears? More and more, I am convinced that how we have lived is reflected in how we die … whether peace reigns or something else. O God, while we live in this world, might we ever have one eye cast heavenward, thinking of what we say and do, and whether or not it is pleasing to you. Amen and Amen.
1 - Matthew 25.21
2 - 2 Timothy 4.7
3 – I had Julie’s permission to share her thoughts
4 - Matthew 10.32-33, 42