Had I known that Andrew was going to die after only four days of life on this Earth I would have done things differently.
- I wouldn’t have gone back to my hospital room each night.
- I would have stayed by his side for four days straight.
- I would have brought his sisters and brother to the hospital to see him more.
- I would have sang to him non-stop to make sure that he knew his mama’s voice and knew how much I loved him.
- I wouldn’t have been distracted by anything going on around me but would have had 100% focus on my little boy.
I know I’m not superwoman and none of my “would haves” are to say that I didn’t do what I could have as his mom. The point is that had I known life would be so very short, I would have been more intentional. That perspective would have impacted the way I spent the four days that I was given with Andrew.
What if you knew when your life would end?
How would it impact your priorities, how you spend your time, or where you place your focus?
Would you live life to the fullest or would you be sad and anxiously awaiting that moment?
It’s hard to say, but I imagine if I knew my days were numbered, I would have more of a Jesus-perspective. I would share the good news of God’s wonderful love for us with every person I came in contact with and would seek out people who need the hope, love, and peace that I know only God can provide. I would tell people how much God has impacted my life. I would read my bible as if I were a dehydrated traveler in the desert searching for something to satisfy my thirst. I would pray constantly and diligently, seeking God’s direction for what little time I had left. And I would spend as much time as I could with my family and friends, soaking in every moment of love, because they are pretty awesome!
But then the question I ask myself is:
Why do I need to know when life will end to focus on the things that I believe really matter to God?
From the very beginning, Jesus knew what his life would be like. In fact, he knew how and when life on this Earth would end for him. He did not live the life of a King as he deserved. He humbled himself, was born in a dirty stable, and lived in poverty, often depending on the kindness of others for shelter and food. He was despised by his people, betrayed by his friends, faced scourging and thorns in his head, suffered through the nails and spears piercing his skin, and died an excruciating and unfathomable death on Calvary’s cross. At any point he could have said, “Nope, I don’t think I want to experience this life on Earth” and gone back to Heaven. But he didn’t.
Jesus lived intentionally. He spent every day of his life loving, healing, and teaching people. He knew what he came to this Earth to do and he didn’t lose focus, despite all of the distractions, temptations, and hardships he faced. He knew his purpose was to bring hope to a lost world, to be the perfect example we should all live by, and to be the unblemished, sacrificial lamb sent to slaughter for our sin and shame.
Jesus also knew that death would not be the end for him. He knew three days later, he would take his place at the right hand of his Father. And he did all of this so we can have the promise of eternity and hope that death is not the end for us either.
Jesus not only forgave me, he saved me from certain death by taking my sins on himself, and not because I have ever “done” enough to deserve it. I don’t deserve one bit of it. He did it out of pure, sacrificial love. He found great joy in knowing that his pain meant eternal dwelling with his children in Heaven. There is NO love that is even in the vicinity of the love Jesus showed for us on the cross.
So how do we strive to live more intentionally like Jesus, knowing that any day could be our last on this Earth?
- Colossians 3:12-17 tells us to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” and to forgive one another. It says to let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts and do everything in the name of Jesus while giving thanks to God.
- Ephesians 4:32 says to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
- Colossians 1:10 says to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord”
- Philippians 2:14-15 says to “do all things without grumbling or questioning”
- Galatians 5:16-26 tells us to walk by the Spirit and not gratify the desires of the flesh. And that the fruits of the Spirit are … love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
- 1 John 2:15-17 tells us not to love the world or things in the world because these things are not from the Father.
- Matthew 28:19 says to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
- And the Bible has so much more to say on this topic!
Unfortunately, we are not perfect, and we fall short on this (selective) list of ways we should live.
Enter the Good News of the Gospel…
- Ephesians 2:8 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”
- Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- John 14:6 tells us that Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
- John 3:16 is probably the most widely known verse – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
As we go into this Easter weekend, I encourage us all to remember Jesus’s life on earth and his sacrifice on the cross. To examine our lives and to be more intentional about living for Him, not for this world. To seek his word for direction and his voice for guidance. And to remember what matters to God so that we may live like tomorrow is our last!