FINAL LESSON: Every Day is a GIFT
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. Ecclesiastes 3:11-12
The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers we bloom and die. The wind blows and we are gone as though we had never been before. Psalms 103:13-16
In this final blog of 2018 (I’m going to take a break next week) and the final in the Lessons Learned Series, it seems fitting to make a connection to this gift giving time of year, though I plan to do so in an atypical manner. Anyone who has experienced a sudden tragedy will tell you that life itself is a gift. I think I am in tune with the brevity of life because of my upbringing.
I grew up in a funeral home. You heard that right. My dad was a funeral director, and our family home was connected to the business. A long hallway provided a significant separation between the two structures, but quite frankly, I thought nothing of it. Dad always said it wasn’t the dead ones we had to be worried about! So true.
While many may think that my childhood was a bit morbid, nothing could be further from the truth. It was a blessing in disguise. I watched as my parents served so many families during the most difficult times of their lives. It was truly a ministry.
One thing I can tell you, death is no respecter of persons. You see, it doesn’t matter how old we are, how rich we are, or how important we are. Death awaits us all. Unfortunately, I experienced this first hand when we lost my Dad at the age of 67. Totally unexpected. It is still probably the worst day of my life. It was at this time when I had to make a decision. Do I trust God’s sovereignty or not? I do believe with all my heart that God is sovereign, and only He knows when He will call us home. While painful for those of us who are left behind, what a glorious homecoming awaits the departed who believe!
In the meantime, like wildflowers we bloom! I like the analogy of the wildflower because it reminds me to bloom where I am planted, be happy in my circumstances, and treasure each moment. In the busyness of daily life, sometimes I forget that time is short. I find myself acting as if time is limitless, like I have all the time in the world.
During this holiday season, I am reminded that life is a gift. All of us are still here for a reason. Each day we must do what we can, when we can, wherever we can. We never know if we will get a second chance to make a difference in someone’s life by sharing the most precious gift of all—Jesus.
I must admit I am not always good at this. It is a lesson I keep on learning. I have a tendency, if I am not careful, to lose sight of what is really important. I am too much like Martha—wanting to make sure everything is taken care of and to check all boxes. While this is a trait I have been blessed with (and probably not going to change), I have strived to have a bit more balance—to be more like Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus, remembering who He is and why I am here.
As we look toward the new year, join me in remembering that each day is a gift. God has something special for each one of us in 2019. Let’s unwrap our daily gifts together.
God bless you, and Merry Christmas!