Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” ~ John 14:27 NLT
If you knew this moment, the moment you’re in right now, were your last moment on earth, how would you feel? What would you say? Is there anything you would try to do before you breathed your last? As I write this, I believe I’ve lived every moment as fully as I have possibly known how to live it. I’ve lived as open and honest as I’ve known to be. I’ve expressed myself in each of my relationships as truthfully as I’ve been capable of doing. I’ve learned from my mistakes, applied my lessons to my daily life, enjoyed my present and looked hopefully towards my future. I’ve given of myself and my resources generously. As God has poured into me, I have shared with the people He placed in my life across various mediums. I’ve gone empty many times, but I now realize, that’s the best state to be in to be filled by God. It’s best that I return to Him empty every time He sends me out. I should not expect to leave this life with a stash of anything He’s given me. Everything I receive from God should be well-used, well-invested and well-distributed.
I pray I have been a decent steward. I hope I have been an obedient servant. At the end of my time here, as my Heavenly Father evaluates at my life and my conduct in it, I long to hear Him say, “Well done, my child.”
Yet I still belong to You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever. ~Psalms 73:23-26
I tell you, as I sit here and write, there is nothing I would ask for an extra moment for. I’ve said all I’ve needed to say in every situation I can think of. I’ve done all I’ve longed to do and more. I’ve offered everything in me when I had the strength and presence of mind to do so. Honesty has been my policy and a desire for truth my constant request. If this were my last moment, I would breathe my last in peace. There is nothing I regret, no one left unforgiven or offered to God, no opportunity for peace and unity left unoffered or unexplored. I’ve been the best person I know to be, attempting to walk in love more and more as my understanding of love has expanded. Obeying God has increased me immeasurably. I am so very grateful for the life the Lord has granted me – all the pain and sorrow tempered by eternal hope and peace. Indeed, if today were my last day on earth, it would be a day full of joy in my Lord and a great expectantcy of being fully in His presence.
I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow Your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever. ~ Psalm 16:7-11
The below excerpt is from a speech given by Chief Tecumseh to his Shawnee tribe. It’s one of my favorite quotes and it fits the message of this post. Before I became aware of the peace Jesus offered, I was trying to incorporate the below words into my life.
Shawnee, so live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”