Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Mid-Week Message - Last Chances

"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like the morning fog - it's here a little while, then it's gone."  James 4:14  (NLT)

It was a morning like any other.  My friend, Craig, got up and got ready for work, said goodbye to his wife, and was off for another day.  His habit was to take the Park and Ride into Seattle and that is what he would have done this day as well.  

Throughout the day, Janine called him, but always got his voicemail.  It was uncharacteristic for him not to return her calls, but she figured he was having a busy day.  As time went on, she called his co-workers and asked if he was really busy.  They said he wasn't at his desk but didn't hint at anything being wrong.  When she hadn't heard from him by time for him to arrive back home, she went to the Park and Ride to meet him.  Neither he nor his car was there.  She went to the next Park and Ride and he wasn't there either.  

By this time she was worried so she stopped in at the Sheriff's office and asked if there had been any accidents that day.  And that is how she found out that he had been killed early that morning when he hit black ice, lost control of the car, and went over an embankment into some trees.  

Although I spoke on this subject recently, the need is strong on my heart to do so again.  This world is rapidly changing in ways that I never thought I would see in my lifetime.  

With the advent of the virus has come isolation to the point that we are not even allowed to visit loved ones in the hospital if they get sick.  Though some facilities are beginning to allow family members in at crucial times. some are not even allowing anyone to be by the bedsides of dying loved ones to say their goodbyes.  

Anytime someone walks out our doors, we have no way of knowing for sure that they will return.  Life can end in the blink of an eye.  I know a family that were having a gathering (pre-COVID).  The father of the family stepped out to get the luggage out of the van.  When he didn't come back in right away, others went to see if he needed help.  What they found was their dad lying in the street dead.  His heart had just stopped.  No warning signs.  Here one minute and gone the next.  

Scripture is very clear that our lives are fragile.  We were not meant to be in this world eternally.  That is why it is so very important to share the Gospel with everyone we can and to tell people what they mean to us while they are still hear to listen.  There is a finite amount of time left to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  There will for sure come a time when it is too late.  

I remember standing by Craig's casket and talking about the memories I had of him and what he meant to me.  As I was doing so, I wished that I had told him personally, rather than telling the crowd that was there to grieve him.  But, the last chance I had to do that had come and gone without me even being aware.  

I wholeheartedly urge each of us to forego our shyness and fears and take advantage of today to express our love to our families and friends.  We also need to voice our gratitude to those who perform any service for us.  We have to start asking the Lord to help us share His story, no matter how it is received.  How will they hear if they are not told?

How many last chances have occurred in your life?  Every single time we are with someone might be the last.  Please don't take the days for granted.  Love now.  Appreciate now.  And love and appreciate enough to tell them about Jesus, while there is still time.     

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