What do I say? What do I wear? How do I act?
How do you navigate these questions when you’re entering a hospital room for what will be your last 30 minutes with your mother?
Covid-19 has rightfully earned the title, “Most Wanted Thief of 2020.” It’s been relentless, stealing lives, jobs, peace, plans, community, and altogether normalcy. Life was catastrophically disrupted. And now, because of an unwelcome disease, my aunt is mourning a life without a parent. No one survived last year without even a little sting. Many entered 2021 with quite a few new scars. New season, same wounds.
Over and over I’ve replayed these questions in my head and their applicability to every season in life. And if you haven’t noticed, 2020 took us through a multitude of seasons:
A time to weep. Loneliness and isolation flooded our world like never before.
A time to mourn. Thousands lost their lives and families were impacted forever.
A time for hate. Not people, but rather the division our country experienced.
A time to uproot. Just about every plan we had was dug up and demolished.
A time to break… OKAY.. Maybe a little too long of a break from society if we’re being real.
Now that those seasons have all been covered, how about we drift toward some positives in 2021?
A time to heal. This past year left people broken. And we’ve put band aids on our wounds for so long when they require a Surgeon. Someone to recognize the damaged parts and know just how to fix them. Let’s face it; Life happens. Jesus heals.
A time to love. If our world is in need of one thing right now, it’s this. Love that is patient and kind, not self-seeking or dishonoring toward others, and not easily angered. Our world needs the love of a Savior, and we are the distributors. Boy do we have some work to do!
A time to speak. Speak boldly the name of Jesus. Speak scripture over lives. Speak Truth. These days, politics or anything to stir up the media seem to be rolling off the tongue of anyone given a voice. But the truth is, we’ve all been given a voice and the opportunity to use it for Jesus’ sake. We can promote man or God. Let’s choose wisely.
Seasons can be lonely and dark, exciting and fun, new and scary. But it’s how we choose to act, what we choose to say, and who we choose to follow in the midst of it all that gives people a glimpse of Jesus.
My thoughts are, following Jesus in each season is the only logical option we have. I mean, following man is a lot like playing a game of telephone. One person follows another, who follows another, and so forth. And pretty soon man has strayed so far from the image of Jesus and wonders how he got there. So friend, I don’t know about you, but I plan to keep following Him.
I got to thinking about what would happen if we asked ourselves these questions daily and really lived as if it were our last 30 days rather than minutes.
Would we speak the name of Jesus with authority and urgency?
Would we act in a manner that glorifies God and extend His grace to others?
Would we wear the fruits of the Spirit and go out of our way to love people?
It’s likely we’d live in a way that honors Jesus because our eyes would then be fixed on what’s to come rather than all the world offers. So, what would happen if it all started right now? I mean, after all, time IS expiring by the day.
The way I see it is, if we already have an eternity with Jesus ahead of us, why chase after worldly desires that will fade to black before we enter Heaven’s gates? It seems a bit selfish to center our lives around our wants when Jesus did the exact opposite. He knew Heaven was the final destination and longed to take as many with Him as possible. So, there was no option but to center His life around others. Well, actually, He centered it around the Father, which overflowed into love for others. It’s only fitting that we’d strive to do the same, don’t ya think?
The thing about life on Earth is it begins in the blink of an eye and is gone in another.
I once attended a women’s retreat and saw an analogy demonstrated with a lengthy rope and a piece of duct tape wrapped around the end of it, representing our time on earth compared to eternity. It put into perspective the significance of each God given day. Every moment holds potential to further the Kingdom.
Our days are few, but our impact is eternal.
My Mammaw always used to say, “Time waits for no one, honey.” And boy have I found the truth in those words through even my twenty years.
It won’t slow its course for a heart break or the loss of a loved one. Not for your college years or your twenties. Not for babies to stay little or couples in the honeymoon phase. Not for snow on the ground (which we just got EEK!!) or a perfect polaroid moment. Not to spend more with Jesus or even to share the gospel. Seasons begin and end, but time never stops. James put this in words a lot better than mine.
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” –James 4:14
In fact, David did too.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” –Psalm 90:12
The Bible has given us a direct warning of our brief time on Earth and my prayer is that we don’t ignore it.
Even after knowing this Truth, though, why is it so easy to delay spending time in the Word or with Jesus? I tell myself I’ll witness to that person next time or when I feel ready. Too often I find such comfort in keeping to my circle and the people in it.
But Jesus doesn’t call us to comfort. He calls us to the gospel, which was notorious for placing people in uncomfortable scenarios.
I’m sure Jonah wasn’t exactly comfortable in that whale, or David preparing to face a giant. And no way Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego felt comfortable walking into the fiery furnace.
But despite all the discomfort, each step of obedience brought glory to Jesus. It’s no different for us.
He never wastes a moment He’s called us to. Seek comfort in that. It’s time to make the most of our God given days and live like Heaven’s right around the corner, because it is(;
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that life isn’t always blue skies and perfect days. I think that’s Heaven, actually. Life is often an unsolved puzzle that every time we’ve almost got figured out, someone or something comes along to mess up again. But in the midst of all the scattered pieces, we have a Friend waiting to help put them back together.
I encourage everyone reading, including myself, to sit down and make a list of all the ways you’d live for Jesus if you had 30 days left. Then live it out now. I can assure you, friend, Heaven is not going anywhere, but our time to build the Kingdom is.
You know that saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”? Well, I never want us to be like that with our time here on Earth. Wishing we’d loved people better or walked with Jesus closer. So, whether we have 30 days or 30 years left, let’s live each moment like it’s our last, because it might just be.
Elizabeth is a writer for Team LO and is crazy about Jesus and enneagrams. She loves spending time with friends, sharing about Jesus, and leading worship at her church in West Monroe, Louisiana.
Follow Elizabeth on Instagram @elizabethamercer