Not to be morbid, but I think about death often these days. It probably comes from watching the slow decline of a family member as well as hitting one of those milestone birthdays. I honestly wonder who I will be and what will be occupying this heart and mind when I draw my last breath. I know that I don’t want to be a frazzled, petty, angry woman. I want a heart that’s at peace, full of gratitude and grace.
I think of Isaiah who witnessed the painful, murderous decay of his home and people and was called to bring good news and bad to the conquerors as well as the vanquished. Isaiah was no stranger to fear and danger. God reminded him of the reality of his situation,
“But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations…I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand- I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” Isaiah 51:8,16.
Then there is John who saw the death and resurrection of his beloved Christ Jesus, was persecuted by his fellow Jews and then in his latter years was shipped off to a hardscrabble island prison far from family and friends. One might expect him to be broken and bitter, but the word of God comes to him, strong and clear,
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:3-5.
I want to be like these ancients who kept their eyes on the prize and were faithful to the voice and calling of God. Their hope was in God.
Lord, thank you for the gift of each day that comes my way. May I live today like it’s my last. I want to live and die with the steady knowledge of your love carved deep into my being, not with regrets, petty thoughts and the ever present to do list dominating the scene. Keep my eyes fixed on you. Thank you for your grace and keep me confident of your deliverance and salvation. I long to see you in your beauty. Amen.