Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Remembrance of That Last Day

One day I was working at the computer, music playing in the background. My youngest daughter comes to me with tears in her eyes, she was 8 years old at the time. "Mommy," she says, "this song bothers me." "Why?" I ask as I sit her on my lap and wrap my arms around her. "It makes me think of Grandpa too much." Then we both had tears in our eyes. My husband's father had passed away very suddenly almost 2 years ago. She was still missing Grandpa very much and we all had moments of missing him. Dad had a cardiac arrest, his heart just stopped while he was driving his gravel truck with a full load of gravel in it. We'd been told that when your heart stops, your brain can still function for about a minute. So dad knew enough to put his signal light on and turn his steering wheel right ever so slightly so that his truck drove into the pasture instead of oncoming traffic. He would've been gone by the time his truck had hit the fenceline. His truck finally came to a stop near some corrals between two dugouts. That was my father-in-law's last day on this earth.

The song that was playing on the CD that was hurting my daughter's heart was called "Last Day on Earth" sung by Steven Curtis Chapman. In the song he talks about how he's watching a funeral procession go by and he's praying that God would comfort the broken hearts of those that were saying goodbye. Then it makes him think of what his own last day on earth would be like and how he should live each day. Before he breathes the air of Heaven, how should he be living on his last day on earth. He talks about how if he doesn't see tomorrow here on this earth and instead is face to face with Jesus in Heaven, will he hear the words 'well done' from our Lord.

WOW! Extremely powerful words. This day, today, could really be our last day on earth - we don't know when we'll breathe our last breath or how we're going to die. I asked my daughter what this meant to her, what the song and Grandpa's sudden death was saying to her. This is what she said, "That when we die, we don't want to keep people guessing if we're in Heaven or not and to make sure that while we are living here that we're living for Jesus." Very profound words. Her greatest concern is that Grandpa is in Heaven. We didn't get a chance to ask Grandpa if he was sure that he was going to Heaven and we regret that now. But God has given us some wonderful signs of hope that someday we will see Dad/Grampa again.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the only sure way into Heaven. God says that we must believe in His Son, who came down to earth, died for our sins, and rose from the dead to give us eternal life, and is now waiting for us in Heaven to come and be with Him forever. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me." (John 14:6) How should we be living on this earth? How should we be living each day? We should be living our lives for Jesus and our goal should be to become like Him - to love and forgive like Him and to strive to live a life of purity and honesty and most important of all to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Nothing else matters - we can do good things all our life, but if we don't have Jesus, all those good things won't get us anywhere. Everything in this world will eventually come to an end, our lives will end. Where will we be? If we choose not to live for God, and there will be some that will choose that, we are missing out! We only have two options - Heaven or Hell. The 2nd choice is not a good one, trust me. There is nothing else out there - we don't just exist here and then are dead forever. There's so much more to life than this very short one here on earth. We were made for Heaven! God created us to live with Him but sin got in the way. He gives us a free choice because He's a loving God and doesn't force us to do anything - we have the free will to live as we choose. But, I tell ya, choosing not to live for Him is the biggest mistake we could ever make. Let's be certain of our destination and give our lives to Jesus so that we can have the confidence that we will live the rest of our lives eternally with Him in Heaven.

That is how I want to live my last day on earth.

Steven Curtis Chapman's website is www.StevenCurtisChapman.com

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