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Thursday, May 19, 2011
Two Feet From Death
"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)
With the tens of thousands of miles we put on our bus, who would have thought My Beloved and I would come face-to-face with death on our weekly date? It is strange to think how commonplace quickly becomes the uncommon, and in an instant, our whole perspective on life is altered.
My husband and I were driving home on the highway the other night from an evening of relaxation, good food, too much shopping, and enjoying each other's undivided attention when I saw the other car.
He was driving right toward us.
As I saw his headlights get bigger, it slowly dawned on me that we were on a four-lane road, NOT a two-lane, and this car was clearly going the wrong way on a one-way street…at about forty miles an hour.
Life can get very messy, very quickly.
Beyond words, I merely pointed and began hollering unintelligible things. My Beloved saw the other car when he was about a hundred feet away and began honking for all he was worth. The other car flew past us at a combined speed of about one hundred miles an hour merely two feet away.
I didn't want to look in the rear view mirror, but I had to. Flashing headlights, brake lights. Finally My Beloved breathed a sigh of relief. "He pulled off the road," he said, looking in the mirror. I was unable to see it, but I was very thankful. I reached over for his hand, letting my fingers feel his strength, his faith, and sighed deeply.
I was still quivery when we arrived home about ten minutes later.
All three of the young children were in bed, sleeping, oblivious to what had happened. I looked at their tousled heads, wondering what the night could have been like…and thanking God that it wasn't.
Why is it that a brush with death gives us a new perspective on life? Why do we wait until we are living on borrowed time before we begin to appreciate life? Eternity becomes vividly into focus, and we see, perhaps for the first time in our lives, what is really important and what doesn't matter at all.
"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." It is my heart-cry, my desire, my quest. Help me, Lord, to always see life from Your perspective, from the eye of eternity.
Death could easily cross that two-foot gap and strip the life from my hands, and it would be gone. I thank God it didn't that day. I've been given more time with my family, more time to serve the Lord, more time to love, and more time to give. It's a wonderful feeling. It's a sobering feeling.
It's that feeling that happens when you are Two Feet From Death.
I have a huge responsibility, and that's to glorify God, giving myself wholly to Him. To enjoy the gifts He has entrusted me with, and to focus my heart on Him, pointing others to Him.
Giving ourselves wholly to God is a full and free feeling, a "throwing it all to the wind," so to speak. But in this case, the wind is not the instability of a breezy air of empty expanse, but the rock-solid stability of the kind and gentle hands of a tender loving Abba-Father.
It's the same heart-cry that our Lord uttered when He threw back His Head, took His last earthly breath,, and cried, "Father, into Thy Hands I commend my Spirit." It is giving our all to Him, trusting that He will take it and lovingly sift the bad from the good, and fill our lives and hearts with His goodness. I know His Will is best. The outcome may be not quite like I prefer it at first, but it is always best.
"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
It's that crucified life – that life of the living dead – that is worthwhile. Those that have realized that we are as good as dead to the material draw of this world are the crucified ones. It is that brush with death that brings eternity into focus. Really, I am already dead. When I gave myself to Christ one day years ago, I died. I died to my dreams, to myself, to my precious vices I held so dear. I died to them all. A vision of death brings a vision of eternal reality. But, oh, that blessed reality!
Always remind me, Lord, of what is real, and focus on that reality every day.
Help me to savor every blessed moment I have – including the trials – because there will come a time when these opportunities will be gone.
Thank You, Lord, that I have been Two Feet From Death….Help me to live for You like there is no tomorrow.