Matthew 24: 3 – “While He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached Him privately and said, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen? And what is the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?'”
Thoughts of the world ending used to scare me to death. I remember watching some movie when I was younger about a nuclear war. People were dying everywhere. Terrifying. Even after I became a Christian, I feared death. The Bible taught me that I would go to Heaven after I died, but what would that be like? I read all of the Left Behind books. Still, I was uncomfortable with the whole process. Fear of death plagued me. I loved my life here on earth. It was seemingly perfect. Singing songs in church about wanting Jesus to return really confused me. I had everything I could have ever wanted — why on earth would I long for Heaven?
It was not until my husband died that I decided to take a fresh look at death. It sounds kind of morbid, but my perspective really began to change. No longer did this life on earth have such an appeal. Life here is so temporary. It is so clouded — so focused on insignificant things. What really matters is God and relationships. I needed to start living for eternity right away. What did that look like?
Relationships. I took some time to really begin to reflect on relationships that I needed to make right. In several instances, that meant seeking forgiveness from those whom I have wronged. What a painful process, but it brought forth such freedom. The restoration of broken relationships is such a beautiful thing. God has extended total forgiveness to me for my sins — as I experience forgiveness in human relationships, I am experiencing a tangible reminder of God’s grace.
God. I feel like the “Prodigal Daughter.” Sometimes I am so on fire for Him. Other times, I have turned my back and run completely in the opposite direction from God. In these times I think that I know best, and I want to be in control. What a mistake and what a trap of Satan! To truly live for eternity, I have needed to be in step with God. Abiding. I am trying to fill myself with His Truth and get to know Him on a deeper level so that I am ready when He calls me Home.
I am not so afraid of death anymore. I am secure in my eternal future. End times still scare me, but in a whole different way. It’s not that I am afraid for me or what I am leaving. I am afraid for my loved ones who do not know Jesus. It terrifies me when I think of them spending eternity separated from God. Jesus says, “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows — neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son — except the Father only” (Matthew 24:36). There is a lot of work to be done here.
God, thank You for Your grace and forgiveness. I praise You for sending Your One and Only Son to die so that I can have eternal life. May I live life with an eternal perspective, keeping short accounts with others and drawing near to You daily. I pray that I would be ready when You return. And I do ask that You would come quickly, Lord! I love You, Jesus.