One difficult morning seven years ago, I wanted to hurl my screaming alarm clock into an abyss. The warmth of my covers and the safety of sleep beckoned my heart to stay, linger and forget what lay ahead of me that day. On that afternoon, I would sing for the funeral of a precious 18 year-old family friend who had died in a tragic car accident.
Her name was Macie. She was a girl who lived life to enjoy life. She babysat my kids and would often catch a ride home from church with us. She always had a spring in her step, a hug for a child, a kind word on her lips, and a sweet smile on her face. To know Macie was to love Macie. So, as you can imagine, my heart ached intensely when she died.
The sorrow messed with me.
It was heavy. Everything about her death seemed wrong. She was so young. So vibrant. So loved. I longed to turn back the hands of time and alter the course of Macie’s demise. I wanted her to magically appear at the service and tell us that it was all just a big misunderstanding. That she was fine! I wanted her to be fine. I wanted her to be alive.
My angst eventually gave way to peace as I remembered that she was fine – because she was alive in the perfect presence of God. The late Barbara Johnson said, “You never know when your time is going to expire, so remember: as you add years to your life, it is more important to add life to your years.” (TWEET this!) Macie only lived on this earth for 18 short years, but she added life to her years when she surrendered her heart to Jesus Christ a year before her death. I imagine that she is now skipping along streets of gold, worshiping God whole-heartedly, and loving on the two babies of mine that are in heaven. She always loved taking care of babies.
The Spirit of God and the knowledge of Macie’s salvation consoled me, yet I still had to choose to praise God through my grief. In the sadness, I had to choose to bless the Lord for His perfect plan. Even though His plan didn’t line up with my expectations. Even though those plans left many hearts heavy with ache. God’s grace enabled me to see rays of light in the dark loss because Macie had professed her faith in Christ and was prepared to meet Him when she breathed her final breath.
Adding life to your years is all about Jesus. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” We can all know hope and peace in Christ. “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4) Jesus came to give us life, plain and simple. Radical, audacious, full, abundant, joy-filled life that begins with the forgiveness that He offers us freely. Do you know that forgiveness?
Live today in the fullness of Jesus… in response to His grace and goodness. Colossians 2:6-7 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Let’s determine to live each day filled with purposed thankfulness as we worship God and point others to Him in love. (Another TWEETABLE!)
It was a sad day when I said goodbye to Macie. After leaving the graveside, I went home, hugged on my children and loved on my husband a bit more than normal. Her death reminded me just how important it is to add life to my years. It’s important for you too.
Live in the moment. God has a plan for your now. (TWEET this!)
Dear Lord, Thank You for offering eternal life through the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus. Thank you for replacing my human hopelessness with your divine hope. Please help me look past the distractions and disappointments of this world and to live each day to the fullest – in You.
For Your REFLECTION: As we are not guaranteed tomorrow, I would like to direct you to add life to your years today…
- Is there someone who you have offended, won’t forgive, are holding a grudge against or owe an apology to? Contact them today and attempt to make peace before the sun goes down.
- Hug your loved ones. Say, “I love you.” Focus on what really matters.
- “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15) Reach out to someone that is hurting. Pray for her.
- Read John 1.
For Your RESPONSE: Leave a comment below with the names of at least THREE people you will prayerfully love more intentionally…