“We blossom like a flower and then wither. Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.” (Job 14:2 NLT)
A wise friend made the observation that for families with small children the days are long, but the years are short. My “baby” girl will turn 50 this year, though it seems only yesterday we brought her home from the hospital. Why is it that the “good” times soar past so rapidly, while the “hard” times seem to drag by so slowly?
How many times have I heard “later” when I’ve invited someone to follow Jesus. It grieves me to think of the ones who have postponed their opportunity, and have now gone into eternity. Or how many times I’ve thought I had time to share with someone, only to hear of their passing. Time is not a respecter of anyone, it marches on regardless of the circumstances of our lives.
When I was in high school a very popular boy who was well known and well liked by many in his class, asked me to take him someplace after school one day. I felt honored and gladly gave him a ride. I didn’t know if he was a believer, but, as a new believer myself, I felt intimidated to speak with him about the Lord. As I sometimes did, I told myself I’d speak with him another time.
That “time” never came, as I heard just a few days later he’d driven his car into the river and taken his own life. I’ve since learned, when the Lord prompts me to share with someone, I make ever effort to obey.
Job made the observation in 14:5: “You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.” We wrongly assume that because someone is young they “have their whole life ahead of them.” I lost a lot of friends in the Vietnam war. When a friend or loved one goes to war, we rightly pray for their protection, but the reality is we should pray every time a loved one goes out the door.
In the world in which we live, Satan is actively seeking whom he may devour. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:15-17:“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
As Jesus followers it’s the Lord’s intention that we’re constantly in tune with His voice. His Spirit indwells us and over time tunes our spiritual “ears” to our Savior’s voice. We have no need to fear what we should say when speaking to someone about the Lord, as the Spirit will fill our mouths with the right words if our spirit is in tune with His.
Dick Eastman wrote: “Behind the saving knowledge of Christ for every person is someone praying.” The salvation of lost loved ones and friends begins in our prayers. In my desperation to see people I love come to the Lord, I often ask the Lord to do anything He deems necessary to draw them to Himself. I have a dear friend whose brother is very sick, but my friend assures me that God is using his brother’s sickness to draw him to Jesus.
I learned a long time ago that God can use any circumstance to help people see Him more clearly, we just need to be faithful in prayer and trust Him to do what only He can do. But we must do what only we can do – send cards, emails, texts, calls, in short, whatever He lays on our heart to do so that if/when our loved one or friend is open to speaking with someone about the Lord, we’re their first call.
Life begins in an instant and it ends in an instant and only the Lord knows the length of our lives – To the Second!