There are several of us gals that meet together for a woman’s bible study over zoom every Thursday afternoon. Those who attend live miles apart, some in Connecticut and some in Pennsylvania. We go to different churches and are spread apart, but what we have in common is that we seek companionship and Christian fellowship and discussion. We share concerns that are heavy upon our hearts, people that we love in difficult journeys of illness, life concerns, loss, and worry, and we pray for each other and their concerns. There is a lesson that is read each week, and we discuss how that applies to our lives.
A couple of weeks ago, our lesson was based on a reading from ‘Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life’ by Chuck Swindoll. It was a very sobering discussion about the reality that someday will be the day that the second hand will stop ticking on our watch of life. We know not the time or place, or how. However, that is our reality; and we have to believe that God is real, that He has created a Heaven as a real physical place where we will spend eternity if we but just ask Him to live in us and to forgive our sins. Likewise, there is a real physical place called Hell that exists.
It has been two years at the end of October that reality came knocking on my own door of life. It was a day that was no different from today or yesterday. The sun came up, coffee was good, watching the news with John happened as we had our breakfast. As I began to get ready for my day, out of nowhere, reality stopped me in my tracks. I was suddenly out, without warning. When I came to, I called out to John, who was in the next room. He took my blood pressure which was high, but my heart was only beating only at 20 beats per minute. He knew immediately what to do, and acted quickly. I rested on our bed, he propped up my legs on pillows, and called 911 calmly.
Things happened instantaneously, I found myself in an ambulance that was screaming to the hospital, and I heard someone radio ahead to have people standing by to help me. Big stickers were put on my chest in the event that they had to shock my heart to keep beating. The story unfolded that the doctors were ready for me, the catheterization lab was ready for me, and a temporary pacemaker was inserted urgently. They installed a permanent pacemaker a few days later. What had happened is that the ‘electrical circuit’ of my heart had spontaneously stopped and would no longer beat on it’s own… ever again. I live now totally dependent upon a device to beat my heart for me. Hallelujah!
I was hovering at the low level of consciousness in the ambulance, but I did not panic. God and I had a talk that if this was the time that my second hand was to stop, I knew that I would be in that physical place of Heaven in a blink of the eye. While I didn’t want for that to happen on that ordinary day, my soul was ready. What about your soul, is it ready?
With the rates being down, even amid the feeling that everything else is upside down, we decided to refinance our house. In our conversation with our mortgage advisor several states away, she told me that her grandfather had died in September. We had prayed for him back in January because we knew he was ill when we first became acquainted. We’ve never met this lady in person, but we talked about the fact that her grandfather was walking on the streets of gold from Revelation 21:21 “And the city’s main street was pure gold, as transparent as glass.” She said ‘I wonder what his mansion looks like’ from John 14:2-3 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” She, and her family, were in the room with her grandfather when he transitioned from this world to the next. The knowledge that she was there when Jesus entered the room to escort her grandfather to Heaven was very humbling. They were all walking on holy ground at that time.
I heard a story years ago about a man who was going on a long journey on a ship. He was standing on one side, waving to all of the people who had come to bid him farewell. They stood on the shore and were waving and crying. He watched them until the ship had crossed over the horizon and couldn’t see them any longer. He walked over to the other side of the ship where he saw millions of people on the far shore, yelling and waving to him. They were bidding him welcome, ‘what’s taken you so long, we’ve been waiting for you!’
The reality of this is that we “know not the time or place” that our second hand of life will stop, but we have to be ready in our hearts at all times. All that God is promising is this very moment in which we are living.
Proverbs 16:3 reminds us to “commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Let us not get so caught up in the day to day myriad of things on our list, the daily news, or the day’s obstacles that we don’t enjoy the moments given to us as gifts to each other. Let’s put the devices down or turn off the news, and enjoy this moment.
In a devotion I read on Friday, a paragraph penned by just the name ‘Julie’ spoke to me. It merely stated, “Accomplishing a lot for God may make us feel important, but what makes us important to God is what we allow Him to accomplish in us – conforming us into the image of His Son.” Romans 8:28-30.
Lord Almighty, we thank you for each moment that has been given to us. Please be the one to direct our path, to determine what we should be spending our time doing and becoming. Please help us to appreciate the present with your Presence.
Be blessed to be a blessing to others,