by Brandy Webb
When I was a child I believed that I would live a long life. I believed that death happened mainly to old people, even though I knew that sometimes children died. My brother lost two great friends when he was a kid, but I thought that the death of children was few and rare. I would look at my parents, who at the time I thought were so old, which is very ironic because I am older than they were at that time, and I would say, surely I will live to be their age. I would also look at my grandparents and my great-grandparents and think; well, I definitely should live to their ages. Given I was very young and, yes, very naive.
I grew up, and I have been to more funerals than I ever thought possible. Some were for friends, some for family members, young and old. Death knows no bias. It can strike the old, young, rich, or poor. It is non-discriminatory, and I don’t believe that we are ever really prepared for it when it occurs, even when it is someone with a terminal illness.
However, I do not want to write a downer-type blog. Life is short no matter how long you live. We all know that. We also know that we all have an appointed time to die (Hebrews 9:27). Therefore, we need to make sure we are our best every moment, every minute, every second of our lives while we still have the breath of life within us.
I know that there are songs like “Live like you are dying.” Plus, there are multiple statements about not taking life for granted. Yet, how well are we doing that? Are we striving to be the best person that we can be every day of our lives? Are we striving to put aside bitterness, discontent, fears, worries, and any other negative characteristics, and instead, embracing love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, and full contentment with who God has made us to be?
Ron Dart made a great point in one of his many sermons that I’m going to paraphrase. He stated that God’s will for our lives is for us to do His will on earth while we are here. God wants us to be His lights. He wants us to bear good fruit. He wants us to “[m]ake every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy” (Hebrews 12:14), to love our neighbor as ourselves (one reference, Leviticus 19:18), to “love your enemies, do good to them” (Luke 6:35), to keep His commandments (John 14:15), to love Him (John 14:15), to be set apart from the world (John 15:19), etc. We are to be our best that we can be in every moment of our lives because this brings glory to His name. It will also make life more enjoyable and more peaceful. Therefore, “[d]o your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (Colossians 3:23-24). Also, enjoy life, rejoice daily, and thank God for every moment He grants you.