“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Can you believe it’s almost Christmas?! Can you believe that the fall semester has come to a close, and spring is just around the corner? I know for many of you this marks the end of your first college semester, and to that I say congratulations! This is just the beginning of glorious accomplishments that will come over the next four years.
I’m constantly amazed at how quickly time goes by. I wish so badly that I could slow life down, lessen my responsibilities, and spend every day with the people I love. Never working, never stressing out, never wanting more than what I already have. But alas, I haven’t such control. I think that is something I am thankful for, though it’s hard to keep up with the fast pace of life.
About three and half years ago my little brother’s best friend, and a very close friend of my family, was diagnosed with Leukemia. After too many rounds of chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, miraculous prayer, and two relapses, Blake met Jesus just over a year ago on December 14, 2010. Now I’m not sure if you’ve ever lost a close friend, but I can assure you there is nothing fun about it. Although he battled on and off for several years, his decline was very quick and we barely made it home to say goodbye.
I could write for days on the beauty of Blake’s life and the way in which he reflected Christ in absolutely everything. However, this is neither the time nor the place for such reflections.
Instead, I want to focus on you and your life. Life is short. I know that is something we often hear, and it’s usual coupled with a reminder to make the most of every opportunity. I’ve heard it a thousand times, too. But I want you to really think about it. Just over a year ago Blake was alive, and for all intensive purposes: he was well. He was living and he was pointing people to Jesus by his faithfulness and trust in the worst of situations. With merely the passing of time, it’s a year later and things are quite different.
You may not be battling cancer, facing a serious financial struggle, or fighting a major war in your walk with Christ. But you are on this earth for a very specific, very important purpose. If Jesus were done using you he would take you home. I believe that with everything inside of me. Are you making Jesus proud? Are you living in such a way that represents Him at all times? In your words, actions, and time with family and friends? Are you bold to speak truth? Humble to receive correction? Patient enough to wait for what the Lord has instead of complaining when it’s not what you want?
Although I very much long for the day that I go Home, I can’t stop thanking Jesus for allowing me to remain on this earth this long. Has my life in the last year been worth Jesus keeping me on this earth rather than taking me Home? Am I making an impact for His Kingdom and for His purposes?
I hope that these questions cause you to reflect on your life.
Have you found the purpose for which Jesus has created you?
Are you living life in a way that represents Jesus, so that death – whenever it comes – will be gain?
I hope so.