Life is short.
Over the past days, I’ve come face to face with this fact. A week ago, we received the news that a Godly woman in our community had been diagnosed with cancer. As shocking as this seemed, even more so was the news that came a few days after—the doctors could do nothing for her and had sent her home on hospice care. At first, there had been hope, now none remained. That evening I stood in my kitchen, praying, “God, please heal her. You are God over all sickness and disease. All diagnoses and predictions. Nothing is too hard for You. Please…do a miracle.”
Not even five minutes later, my mom received a text saying this sweet woman had passed into the arms of Jesus.
I was stunned.
My first thought: “Oh, God, you gave her a miracle. She’s with You now.” My second thought: “For what is life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)
Two weeks. That’s all she had from the first diagnoses, to the day she went to be with Jesus. Two weeks.
That night reminded me that life is a vapor. There is no promise of tomorrow. No assurance of our time on earth. We make plans. We have goals, but we never know if the remainder of our life will consist of two decades, two years, two weeks, two days, or even two hours.
That’s why every day—every moment—is a priceless, incomparable gift. A gift bestowed on us from a loving Creator, but one we’re never guaranteed of. And sadly, a gift we so often abuse.
What would our lives look like if we lived with our eyes focused on Heaven, instead of the petty cares of this world? How much deeper and sweeter would our relationships become, if we recognized the heartrendingly short time we have with those we love? How different would our priorities be if we knew the length and breadth of our days?
Our perspective on earth is narrow. Finite. Temporal. Oh, for God to give us grace to comprehend the infinite, and understand the eternal.
I’m sure you’ve heard the acronym YOLO—You Only Live Once. As liberally as many people interpret this, I want to bring it back to truth. We do only live once, but that also means we only die once.
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Our one life doesn’t mean we should use each scant day to satisfy ourselves, or attempt to seek fleeting pleasure. If anything it means the exact opposite. We only live once—we need to make
it count. Make it last beyond us. Make it change our world. Our lives are not our own, because our death is covered with the ransom of Christ’s blood, and our lives redeemed by the power of the stripes across His back.
Because He died, we live.
Because He died, death has lost its sting; the grave, its victory.
Because He died, we have hope for today and every day that stretches into eternity.
Life is short. Live in awe and worship, and wide-eyed wonder. Love deeply and fiercely. Choose joy and act with boldness. Use your words to proclaim truth and bring glory to the name of Jesus.
Life is short. Live it well.
Sara Barratt is a youth leader, writer, avid reader, chocolate lover, and “I Love Lucy” fan. Her passion is exhorting teens to wholeheartedly use their lives for Christ, and daily fall more in love with Him. A regular contributor for The Rebelution, Sara has been published on numerous other blogs including Lies Young Women Believe, Know Your Value and The Overflow. Connect with her on Facebook.