“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord …” (Isaiah 1:18, NKJV)
Imagine if you can what it would be like to have a personal audience with the God of Heaven and hear directly from Him about life and living … about your life and about the way you are living!
Well, we know that’s not going to happen in this life! He has already revealed Himself by the Creation around us and by the life of His Son, Jesus Christ, in the flesh. He has revealed and preserved His Book, the Bible, to be “the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path” (Psalm 119:105, NKJV)
The Lord demonstrated His willingness to communicate with us beginning back in the Garden with Adam and Eve … and He has continued that desire to stay in touch with each of us through the revelation of His Word!
God didn’t give us His Word to satisfy our curiosity! He gave us His Book to change our hearts and our very lives. But the truth is … we’re not always receptive to change … especially if it requires something of us that we don’t want to change!
We need to be reminded often of just how gracious and full of mercy and grace God is and of how “longsuffering” He is. But we also need to be reminded that God does not want to be ignored, neglected, discounted, or disregarded!
The world is full of so many types of characters, isn’t it? Good, bad, ugly … some are outgoing while others are reclusive … some are introverts while others are extroverts … some are people-people while others are perfectly happy living with as little interaction with others as possible.
One of the ripple effects of this past year has been the isolation from others that most have been forced to experience … especially anyone with little to no immune system to protect and help preserve from disease.
It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I am truly a people-person. I love people … I want to be around people … I want to interact with others. I am a self-admitted hugger of all. I have even been accused of being a “Chatty Cathy” at times! Shock!
That being said, if I could sit down with YOU with a cup of coffee or tea and just talk as one dear friend used to say, “Bill, let’s talk about life” … what would we talk about?
Well … here goes from where I am sitting:
- Let’s suppose you knew that you only had a few hours or days to live … who would you want to be by your side?
- And what would you want to have by you or near you or where you could see it … maybe even feel it?
As the Apostle Paul was sitting in prison, waiting on death row for those soldiers who would be coming to take him to be executed … in the touching words he penned to his young friend, protégé and brother in Christ, Timothy, he asked that Timothy “come quickly” and that he bring with him “Mark … his coat … his books … and his papers.” (2 Timothy 4:9-13, NLT)
We look at this fervent request and we see a relatively shortlist. Isn’t it so that as we grow older … the list of what we really need … the things that really matter to us … grows shorter because we really know in our hearts that we won’t be needing any of this world’s good much longer? Or do we recognize this truth?
Life picks up speed as we turn the pages of the calendar. And the fact of the matter is this … the things of this life (other than family, friends) really don’t matter that much do they! Or do they? What do our lives say about these truths?
So here we are talking about ‘life’ … we take a sip of coffee … we rub our chins … we shake our heads … then what? Well … one of us hopefully speaks up and says, “You know that’s all true and life can turn on a dime.” True! Right? Right!
Life doesn’t always lead where we thought it would or planned for it to. My life sure hasn’t! Surprise! I’m not the only one sailing in this boat! Life can and does change in a moment … good health can evaporate before our eyes … people can change and disappoint that we never dreamed would either change or disappoint us!
This we all know … there are so many events and happenings that are simply beyond our ability to predict … understand … much less explain. So … consider with me the following questions:
- How is it that someone we love so deeply leaves us way too soon?
- How is it that someone we believe in … trust in … share mutual affections and purpose with … over time loses their sameness with us?
- How is it that someone’s life can take such a dramatic turn that we no longer know them as we once did?
- How does a young person blessed with family and blessings forget about the God who provides?
- How is it that ___________ … so many other questions could be added to this list, couldn’t they?
I don’t know what tomorrow may bring … and for that matter … the next minute! But I do know this … God is still God … He loves me and cares for me … He will continue to bless and provide for me and those I love with all we will need … and I know there is something far better than anything or anyone in this life can provide … but I must trust that He always knows what is best and what the future holds for each one of!
So whether you’re 16, 26, 56, 86 or somewhere in between or even beyond … stay close to God … hold firmly to His Word … pray often … read from His Word daily … love Him first … love others second … forgive others … and learn to love and yes, forgive yourself!
When the smoke of life as we know it lifts … and it will … regardless of how many awards, trophies, and accolades one has received … regardless of how much money you’ve got in the bank … your money-market accounts … your 401k … regardless of how much land and wealth you have amassed … it will ALL be left behind when death comes knocking at your door or the trumpet sounds announcing the coming of the Lord to judge this world and you!
And if at the Judgment seat we hear “Depart from Me, I never knew you …” and suddenly realize that we’ve missed Heaven … it will be too late!
My friend … as I lean in on the table we are sitting at as we visit and say as lovingly and compassionately as I can … ‘and if we’ve missed Heaven then we will find that we simply missed all there is!’ There will be nothing else to be said.
Sobering thoughts no doubt … but true and Bible-based! If we can’t sit down and talk about ‘life’ with each other in person … we can always sit down with the Lord and read from the pages of His Book where we will find “…all things that pertain unto life and godliness …” (2 Peter 1:3, NKJV)
May this day and every day begin and end with “it is well with my soul!”
Bill Fairchild, Jr.