My elderly friend called me to ask if I would come over and pray with his wife who he thought might not survive the night. It was a sacred privilege to kneel beside her bed.
When I grasped Janet’s hand, she looked at me and said, “How do I do this? I’ve never died before.” I asked her if she was ready to go, and she replied that she had long ago given her life to Jesus and she wasn’t about to stop now. She would trust Him to carry her across this final step. Janet spoke of her godly parents and her three children and dozen grandchildren who, as far as she could tell, were living for the Lord. We clasped hands and thanked God for the legacy that she had passed on to the next generation. We praised God for her eventual resurrection, and we cried with sadness for her impending death.
As I drove home, I realized that we had spoken only of the people in her life: Jesus, her parents, her husband, and her children. Janet hadn’t mentioned the job she gave up to stay home and care for her children—only that they had turned out as she had hoped. As she lay dying, Janet wasn’t thinking about any of her possessions, projects, or problems, but only about the people who filled her life with joy. I thought of what had burdened my heart earlier that day. The bills and daily problems that once had felt so big now seemed silly.
Death focuses the mind, which is why Solomon wrote, “Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). One day you’re going to die. What do you think will matter to you then? Live accordingly.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Hebrews 11:1-40
Read Psalm 90:1-17 to discover how death changes our perspective on life.
What would you do if you knew this was the last day of your life? Live with that mindset today!