Living for Today

The day I had been dreading dawned with beauty, relentlessly indifferent to my emotions.  Over the prior weeks of packing I had been able to ignore the unwelcome truth that four of my favorite people were about to move over a thousand miles away; but I could not conveniently shove that morning behind a complacent assurance that “we still had time.”  It was the Last Day–sacred in the memories gathered over ten years, each breath to be drawn out in the hope of pausing time just for a moment to further delay the inevitable. 

 I moved through the events of the day with eyes that did not see and ears that did not hear.  Each glance at the clock was a reminder that the hours were hurtling us closer to that last hug, that final “goodbye.”  By the time I made it home that afternoon, I already had cried off the last of my makeup.  

 When I walked into the house, my husband informed me that my loved ones planned to finish the last of their packing and stop by on the way out of town around seven that night.  With dread, I cuddled my son and watched the hours slip away.  Seven o’clock passed, and eight o’clock, and still they did not come.  Finally, around nine o’clock the phone rang.  A comedy of errors and miscommunication had combined against us, and by the time they realized we were not meeting them where they had anticipated, they were already an hour into their journey.  I sank into a dining room chair under a sick wave of grief, stunned that–after everything–we did not get to say “goodbye.”  

 James 4:14-15 admonishes us not to boast about tomorrow, for we have no way of knowing what each day will bring.  Jesus echoed this sentiment in Luke 12 when he told the parable of the rich man who planned to tear down his barns and build new ones to hold greater possessions that he might say to his soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink and be merry” (Lk. 12:19).  God called this rich man a fool, asking who would enjoy those bigger barns after he died that night.  Is Jesus against planning for the future?  No.  But each plan must be God-centric and preparing for the day of His coming.

 Life so rarely goes the way we plan.  If we are but a vapor on the clock of eternity, our unformed moments are merely the beginnings of a breath.  We must take care to make every moment count, never to regret putting down the media and spending time with our loved ones, always to say, “I love you.”  In retrospect I am grateful that I took the last few days leading up to the move of my brother and his family to spend with my nephews.  How much more precious now are those hours we spent at the park and those last, chubby hugs in the driveway the night before they were to move.  

 Though we may not understand Christ’s ways, He is the only constant of which we are assured.  May we keep our eyes on what truly matters.  We do not have tomorrow, but He’s given us today.  Let’s make it count.

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3 Responses to Living for Today

  1. timbob says:

    Hello. This is such an important reminder because it’s one of those things that we take for granted. Even though we “know” that tomorrow is not a promise, we somehow manage to assume that it will arrive.
    This past Monday, my nephew passed away without warning. He was only 42 (5 years younger than me) and had no history of health problems. It was completely unexpected.
    Thank you for taking time to address this. Blessings in Jesus name.

  2. Josef Sefton says:

    Truly our very beautiful and correct prayer today is for the language of love so that we can become more consistently loving to God’s glory!
    Interestingly the Holy Bible teaches that the Tower of Babel was a work of disobedient man! In building the Tower of Babel the people desired to make a name for themselves rather than to attempt to glorify God.
    Genesis 11
    4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
    I’ve discovered that if we offer God the offering of self exultation God will never accept it and we will find that He can intervene graciously to scatter our attention from our false focus. This causes us to experience confusion but it’s the only way for us to start afresh at some future time in the right direction with the right motive of being thankful toward God.
    God bless you Chrystal with an increasingly loving heart along with all your readers.

  3. Jesu meine Freude says:

    What a wonderful blessing it is for us to have Chrystal back writing!

    What a beautiful treasured gift of God forgiveness is !

    Friends, let’s cherish the words of Exodus 34:6: “And the Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.’” Truly that’s mercy!
    Friends, let’s live our lives on the basis of mercy received from heaven. As disciples of Jesus may we also pray to God in unison, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5) !

    After listening to Jesus’ teaching on reconciliation, unity, restoration and forgiveness, Peter asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” (Mathew 18:21)
    Gracious Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times,’” (Mathew 18:22) meaning without limit!
    Jesus’ answer contrasts radically with that of Lamech in Genesis 4:24. A descendant of Cain, Lamech boasted about his ability to avenge himself on his enemies. He says, “If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” Lamech, as an unbeliever, was boasting that he would practice unlimited revenge.

    In the gospel of grace a sinner saved by Christ and transformed by the gospel must forgive his brothers without limit. So Jesus told Peter that even seven times was not generous enough. He needed to forgive his brother as God in Christ forgave him: limitlessly.

    Friends, even one sin by man against God is worthy of punishment in hell. Because we practice sin and commit an unmeasurable amount of sin during the course of our lifetime we are debtors to almighty, all-holy God. The Bible teaches that there is a day of judgment. “Man is destined to die
    once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

    In Acts 17:31 we read, “For God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.” This person is LORD Jesus Christ. what a friend we have in Jesus!

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