Okay, I’m not trying to be morbid here, but this title has very real significance for me. While in recovery after my routine laparoscopic hysterectomy a few weeks ago, I stopped breathing—for 3-5 minutes. My poor hubby was alone in the room when it happened. He called for the nurse, and within seconds fifteen medical professionals were attaching all sorts of bells and whistles to his wife. I don’t remember any of it, of course, but when I woke up I remember thinking, Darn. I didn’t even get a glimpse of Jesus!
My point is…we were surprised when death knocked at our door.
I’ve been kind of amazed at how peaceful I’ve felt about the whole ordeal. I’m thankful for that, trusting that I’m fully settled into the arms of my Savior whenever death comes. But as I read 2 Kings 15 the other day in my quiet time, wicked old King Menahem gave me pause…
A King’s Legacy
Nasty ol’ King Menahem was one of the bad kings in northern Israel a couple hundred years after David’s united kingdom split. The northern kingdom of Israel had a pretty awful track record of idol worship, and King Menahem was one of the best at being worst.
“Menahem…became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria ten years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. During his entire reign he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam…which he had caused Israel to commit…Menahem rested with his ancestors. And Pekahiah his son succeeded him as king.” 2 Kings 15:17-18, 22
My question to King Menahem is this:
“If you knew you only had ten years to reign as King of Israel, would you have done it differently?”
Numbering Our Days
We all know our days are numbered, right? But do we really think about that? If King Menahem knew in his ninth year that the next year would be his last, would he have been a different kind of king?
Let’s turn that question around and think about when my breath was gone, and my life nearly lost. What if they hadn’t been able to resuscitate me?
If I had known MY life would end on September 28, 2015, would I have lived differently in the days, weeks, and months leading up to it? Perhaps the more important question is:
Will I live differently now?
The Little-Big Things
I’m in the midst of soul-searching. I’m not guilty of the major sins, you know—murder, stealing, or anything else you get arrested for. But it’s those “little-big” things (as my husband calls them) that bleed into the cracks of my life and make the cracks bigger and bigger until they break me into pieces. Those little-big things like envy, pride, idolatry, and other sneaky sins with shameful names that hide in seemingly harmless acts.
You want an example? How about being too busy to heal from this surgery properly? At the root of that are the sins of pride and idolatry—I’m too proud to ask for help, and I’ve elevated my work above God’s desire for me to rest my body. See? Sneaky sins. Little-big things.
How Then Shall We Live?
Like I said, I’m in the midst of some soul-searching. I’m not sure what those changes will entail, but I know it involves balance. Part of my soul-searching involves asking my Lord Jesus where my life is currently out of balance. Here are five categories that I’ve jotted down with the areas of each category that need my attention. It was helpful to see it in writing to determine which areas I’m weak in:
- God – solitude/silence, praise, personal discipleship, Sabbath
- Family – relationships, time, serving
- Church – worship, discipleship, serving, relationships
- Work – writing, marketing, learning
- Free time – relationships, alone time, exercise, hobbies
My free time definitely needs work. I vaguely recall having some back in the early 1980’s.
When I Die…
I know I’m saved, and I don’t have to work for my salvation because Jesus paid for my sins on the Cross by becoming a perfect sacrifice for all sin. I know I’ll see Him in heaven because I believe that.
But on the day I die—whenever that is—I hope to have lived a life that causes Jesus to smile. I pray that He wraps me in His arms and says:
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21
THAT’S why I want to live well today…and every day for the rest of my life.
- Get rid of little-big things: sneaky sins with shameful names that hide in seemingly harmless acts.
- Soul-searching involves asking Jesus where my life is out of balance in 5 important categories.
- I know I’m saved and I don’t have to work for salvation because Jesus paid for my sins on the Cross.
- Of the five categories I mentioned above, in which do you find healthy balance hardest to reach?