Yesterday, I was praying and God put these words on my heart, “Number your days.” I always keep a notepad next to me on my commute into the office so I scribbled them down. It wasn’t an ominous, foreboding word, but more of an affirmation of making the most of each day…and so I let that Word begin to marinate.
But later that same day as a close friend and I were having lunch, my wife called to say that one of our good friends had died. He was a great man. A generous man. A godly man. A warrior. Intense and intentional. He loved life, his family, his Lord and was perpetually on a mission to live life with such passion and purpose. Heaven’s gain is certainly our loss.
The apostle Paul declared (but I’m sure these same words are also written in Stacy’s journal somewhere), “according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20 NASB).
I completely understand how Jesus can be glorified in our lives, but by our death? We rejoice that Jesus will be exalted when we see Him face to face as He fully redeems in glory those He purchased by His precious blood. But I believe the Word here is as much earthly as it is heavenly.
Why does it take the death of someone…especially someone greatly loved and highly respected for His love of Jesus to make us say, “Now what were we arguing about?” “What was I worried about?” “What am I doing with my life?” Exactly. Oh what forgetful creatures we are! But as in life, so in death, Stacy is exalting Christ. The ripple of a life well-lived impacts us, doesn’t it? Those closest to it feel a greater wave rush over them, but even those standing at a distance are touched.
Moses prayed, “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NASB). Paul declared, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 NASB).
“Making the most of your time” in the Greek literally means to “redeem or buy up” the time. We purchase time with our priorities, our choices, and our actions. Each day is a gift from God of amazing opportunities. All this is crying out, “If God has so graciously numbered my days, how am I spending my time?”
Stacy’s death is really a call to life. To wake up and walk wisely. To reevaluate and make course corrections. To set aside what is holding you down and push forward to what lies ahead. To find purpose and passion. To breathe deeply and smile. To love life, love Jesus, and love others. To live for the glory of God and to die with a sword in your hand.
© 2013 Tim McKenzie – www.OnEveryWord.com