Earlier this year my husband and I had a great friend die, in a tragic unexpected way. One of those hit you out of nowhere phone calls on a Monday morning, that changed our lives forever. We had just talked to Joel two days before. He was great!
Not to go into great detail, but the next few days were a fog of travel plans on a whim to Oregon, calling people, and mourning together.
The services were amazing and Joel’s life was honored and celebrated. We spent 5 days in Oregon, which is a beautiful place with some amazing people. Seth and I were able to speak into some peoples lives and pray with them, we were mourning and celebrating, praying and praising all in the same trip.
Joel was a believer in Jesus Christ through and through and his actions as faithful as his words about it. Joel made time for everyone, was unashamed to share the Gospel with everyone he met, and he loved deeply without hesitation. He would have wanted nothing more than his death bringing people together and into the presence of the Lord.
God taught me that sad week in Oregon, a very important lesson.
We’ve all heard it, the old cliché “Live everyday like it’s your last.” That’s where most of us go in our minds, when unexpected death happens and we are left in the wake, picking up the pieces of our broken hearts and those around us. I agree here, however the Lord taught me a deeper level.
We had started the trip home, just gotten to our gate to start the voyage to Tennessee.I was staring off, looking around at the stores and shops close to our gate, processing the last five days, as we headed back.
Clear as day I heard the Lord say “Live everyday as though the people you meet and see could die tomorrow”.
I was confused at first and then found myself taken deeper into this revelation. Live as if everyone you meet could die tragically and unexpectedly, like our friend just had. You see Joel knew the Lord intimately, so we were sad, but he was dancing in heaven.
The truth is, not everyone has that relationship with Jesus, and the assurance of salvation. The person you meet at the coffee shop, cashier at the grocery, friends you talk with, co-workers, the fedex guy, the list goes on and on, they all need to know Jesus.
The Lord showed me that day that there is not one second to waste, not one interaction to let pass by. If we feel a tug at our heart to speak the love of Jesus to someone, as Christians we must obey.
It may seem awkward, it may seem like the wrong timing, it may be completely out of your normal character, but God’s timing and ways are not our timing and ways.
We must live our lives with open eyes, and we must be willing to be uncomfortable or outspoken when we normally wouldn’t be. Someone’s life may depend on it, and we are the hands and feet of Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong, I know without a doubt God is sovereign and He will and can use anyone to speak life to someone. Heads up we, yes you and me, are those people. Best to obey and not have to wonder ‘what if’ later, or have to say ‘I wish I would have said something’ once it’s to late.
The next time you find yourself in a conversation and sense a pull on your heart to change the subject to Jesus, I challenge you to obey. He will give you the words, as long as you are obedient. Jesus himself said He would.
“for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said” Luke 12:12
You may be the last person someone speaks to and you might not even know it, live everyday like that is the case. We may be the last time someone may have the chance to hear about Jesus, to be offered the choice to commune with Him forever.
I’ll end with this, the last scripture our friend Joel sent us two days before he died:
‘Silence is praise to you, Zion-dwelling God, and also obedience. You hear the prayer in it all. We all arrive at your doorstep sooner or later, loaded with guilt, our sins too much for us- but You get rid of them once and for all. Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest at home in your place! We expect our fill of good things in your house, your heavenly manse. All your salvation wonders are on display in your trophy room. Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer, Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser, Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash, of mobs in noisy riot- Far and wide they’ll come to a stop, they’ll stare in awe, in wonder. Dawn and dusk take turns calling “Come and worship.”
Psalm 65: 1-8 MSG
Lord help us to be courageous and obedient to share what has been given so graciously to us.