If I Only Had a Year

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I was struck with a thought last night:
What if I only had a year to live.

What if I knew that I had one year left.  How would that affect the way I lived today? 

 I know for a fact it would change me.  Think about it: you're told you have a terminal condition.  The doctor says he's not sure how long you have - could be two years, maybe less.  How would that change your outlook on life?  How would it change the way your treat your family, the activities you participate in, the priorities you set, and most importantly, the time you spend with your Heavenly Father each day?


As soon as that thought hit me last night.....my first comeback was "oh, I'd definitely spend more time with Jesus each day!" 

I am saved - washed by the blood of the Lamb - I know my destination is Heaven.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will see Jesus face to face the moment I die......and yet, if I were to die today, I'd feel grossly unprepared.   I'd wish I had spent more time at my Saviour's feet than in constant pursuit of the "urgent".   I know I would wish I had done more for my King ~ not that it could earn me any favor beyond what Jesus has done for me ~ but simply to have done more to please HimEspecially the little things, the seemingly "insignificant" things that no one else sees.  I'd wish I had done more for the "least of these" just to have put a smile on God's face. 

"And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."
Matthew 25:40

I would wish I had listened more carefully to that Still Small Voice......paid more rapt attention to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  And yes, I admit it - I don't always listen and follow God's promptings.  I know I would wish I had obeyed every time I felt God telling me to do something!  Even the little things. Especially the little things.

I know for a fact I would lament over the time I didn't spend with Jesus.  You know, the more I get to know my Saviour I realize how well don't know Him - if that makes sense.  It's like, the more time I spend with Him, the more I know of Him.... the bigger and more incredible He becomes to me.  I realize that what I do know about God is simply a drop in the bucket in comparison to Who He is.  One of my favorite songs goes, "...the whole universe is witness to only a part of what You've done...."

There is so. Much. More. To learn about the One Who created me. 

When I think about the enormous sacrifice Jesus made for me - what He's given me and what it all means - I realize that any time I spend on that which does not glorify HIM is absolutely and utterly worthless.

I know I would very much regret the time wasted on selfish pursuits, even if it *seemed* at the time like I deserved it.  I think about all the time and money I've spent on clothes and makeup....oh goodness I know I would wish I had spent more time focusing on higher priorities.  Clothes and makeup are fine and can be used for a good purpose - but there is a careful balance that must be struck between it and time with GodI would wish I had spent more time proclaiming Christ's reputation instead of mine.
In light of all that ~ how can I focus on myself, day after day?  Self shows up all the time, in the little things.  "That doesn't fit in with my plans".   "That's not fair to me."  "I don't like that."   "I need to buy this."
What about those who don't even know where their next meal will come from - and even more importantly, who don't know Christ?  What about pleasing God and living every minute for His glory? 

"For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?"
Matthew 16:26a

So as I thought about all this.....I fell back on the age old "I have plenty of time - I'll probably live 'till I'm eighty."  I found myself thinking that "only if I knew my life was really fragile and didn't have long to live would I really get serious about all this."  "If a doctor told me he didn't know how much time I had left....that would be a call for serious change in my life."  

The scary thing is that I don't know how much time I have left.  It really could be a year.  My life is fragile.  I could die any time.

This is what calls for serious life change.  The fact that I don't know the hour, the day, the year.  My life is hanging by a thread.....and yet it's totally natural for me to live as if I'll go on forever.  I think that's the perspective Satan wants us to have.....it's called apathy.  Complacency.   If we don't remind ourselves on a consistent basis of what life is all about, we will fall into the trap of thinking "who cares, I'll do it later".  It's so incredibly easy to forget that we were made for a purpose.  There is a reason we are here. 

And it's not so we can have fun!  We are called to live a life that pleases the One Who created us.

"And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him Who died for them and rose again."
2 Corinthians 5:15

Wow.  I am called to be a daughter of the King of Kings ~ to serve Him with every breath that I take.  And I do it gladly, because it's nothing in comparison to what He's done for me.  But I have to constantly remind myself that I am not my own...I have been bought with a price.  Everything I have - talents, money, time, etc. - is all Christ's.  He's the One Who gave it to me.  If I have one year left to live, it is a gift from Him.  And therefore, it is HIS time.  So I want to use every bit of that time for HIM.

And who knows - maybe I really do only have one year left!  Maybe I have fourty. Or sixty.  However long it is...I will eventually come to the end of it.  Right now sixty years seems like an eternity - but it ticks by, and pretty soon I'll be looking back at sixty years passed by.  I want to use the time I have in the best way possible - to serve and glorify Jesus Christ.

2 comments:

Leah said...

Amen! Thank you for this.
So true. I needed to hear this.
Thank you.

Blessings,
Leah

Cassie said...

Amen, Rachel!

Thank you so much for posting this... such an inspiration. It's always good to keep these thoughts at the forefront of our minds.

Love Always,
Cassie

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
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Proverbs 3:5-6

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