Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Life's If

As I was grocery shopping the other day, I overheard a conversation between two little girls that almost floored me. One asked the other a very simple question...but the weight of a two letter word slapped me in the back of the head.

The little girls where trailing their mom's cart and were deep in conversation. As I passed, the taller one asked the smaller one, "If you grow up, would you rather live in an apartment or a house?"

Simple question yes? But why "if"? Isn't that question usually started with a "when"? Don't children normally think they'll live until as old as their parents? Why "if"?

With the breaking news of the day still swirling in my worries, I asked God why that hit my heart so hard.

He reminded me of a bedtime prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."

Wow...could it be those little girls understood this childhood prayer better than I did? You see, we are not promised tomorrow. We are not promised another breath on this earth. Nobody knows when their time is. You can guess by looking at your family tree, or listen to what your doctor tells you...but nobody but God knows the exact date and time you will come face to face with Him.

So then, how should we live? The book of James says:

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are {just} a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, {you ought} to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."
James 4:13-15

There's that little two letter word again, "if". Such a tiny word, but it carries the weight of humble obedience. Those little girls did have it right...and so does my grandma.

One of her phrases is, "Lord willin!" Which in Wyoming jargon means--whatever God wills! She knows all about that child-like obedience to "the Good Lord".

Can you say that today? Can you truly say that you want God's will in your life? Imagine that...even the word Life has that humble word "if" in it. God is awesome. Life is short and it can be hard, but with Christ you are promised to face the ifs of Life with Him--never alone.

If we were to live today like tomorrow wasn't coming, what would you want to change?

As the stars come out one by one tonight, I hope you will consider a new rendition of that bedtime prayer:
"Before I lay me down to sleep, I pray that Christ my soul does keep. And IF I die before I wake, I pray my eyes behold His face!"

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, {he is} a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your insight as always, Cousin Bob