Life. Is. Short.
Oh my - life is short! My day began Friday morning with a text from a friend. I was travelling on business and stopped to spend the night with my son who is in college. One of my granddaughters was with me (she sleeps like a wild woman flouncing all over the bed) and I hadn’t gotten much rest. I sleepily gazed trying to make out the text. Tim, a friend of mine and Tom’s, had texted several couples hoping to make plans for Saturday night. My day ended Friday when I got in my car following a jewelry show and saw several text messages: one from a sweet friend asking prayer request for Tim who was being rushed to the ER; and texts from Tom – saying he was headed to ER; asking prayer for Marsha, Tim’s wife and then telling me to call him. The phone call did not go as I had hoped. Tom’s words were surreal; no way could they be true. He told me our friend, Tim – the one whose text woke me that very day – was gone. Sometimes in our life we can see God’s handprint all over a situation. Tom and I joined a new church a couple of years ago. There was no doubt in either of our minds where God wanted us to be. We knew that if we wanted to do more than just attend church, we needed to join a small group. We took a church class for a while, then I joined a ladies daytime Bible Study and Tom joined a men’s group. Last fall we decided to join a couple’s group. We hoped we would find a place where we could grow. Oh, we had no idea what a gift God would give us. Tim and Marsha are our small group leaders. We meet each week to discuss the pastor’s sermon the previous Sunday and talk about how we can apply God’s truth in our life. I loved to watch Tim and listen to Tim talk about the Lord. He was passionate about Him! That was evident in his powerful words, his gestures and even his facial expressions. He was real and he was caring. That time together became a safe haven for us all. We ate, we laughed and laughed, we discussed and looked for answers and we cried together – sharing heartache and pain and we prayed – oh how we prayed together. Tim would lead out and he would close always praising God and thanking Him. That small group of 7 couples became like family.
One week Marsha was not feeling well so we met at another member’s house. There had not been a sermon that week so Tim asked if we would like for him to share with us how to share Jesus with others. I remember listening to him – trying to type every word in my phone notes as he taught us how to share the plan of salvation. He painted a picture for us by saying, “Picture 2 chairs. In this chair you can sit saying, “All my life I have sat here hoping I have done enough to get me to heaven”. But the truth is – you haven’t. Romans 3:20 tells us that No man will be justified by the law. Verse 23 says, All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We don’t deserve heaven. We all deserve death. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages for our sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus. So you can sit in that chair – trusting in yourself and your good works OR you can choose to get up, admit you are a sinner and you deserve death and come sit in this chair where all your sins are forgiven. You can’t earn that…but because of God’s grace you can receive eternal life in heaven for FREE. You see, in this chair is where you choose to put your trust in Jesus. Romans 5:8 says that Jesus died for YOU. Although we are sinners, God showed great love for us by sending Jesus to die for us and pay the price for our sins. Romans 10: 9, 10 and 13 say that if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and BELIEVE in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. For by believing in our heart we are made right with God and by confessing with our mouth we are saved. Once you truly surrender your all to Christ - the Holy Spirit will dwell in you and you can have a relationship with Jesus. Romans 5:1 tells us that a relationship with Christ will bring peace into our life.”
Then Tim asks, “Which chair do you choose to sit in?” Wow! What a powerful question. Because today more than ever I realize that life is short; because I now know that we just never know what a day may bring and when that day just may be our last – I just have to ask you, “Which chair do you choose to sit in?” My prayer is that you will choose the one with GREAT hope – the one that is a FREE gift for YOU and offers you the BEST friend you will ever know, the greatest love you will ever experience and the most peace you could ever imagine!
Oh Tim, my friend, I am blessed beyond measure to have known you! I am so thankful for the influence your walk with the Lord has had on my life. You have taught me so much. You have encouraged me, inspired me and empowered me to draw nearer and nearer to the Lord. We will miss you! But we are rejoicing in knowing that you are with the One you so passionately served. Rest assured we will love on and take good care of your beloved, Marsha, and we – no doubt – will see you again one day.