I've found myself wondering what life after death will look like....how will it really play out. I've found myself realizing how BRIEF life is. It seems like some days are slow, but most years go fast. And, from where I stand now, the years are stacking on one another at an alarming rate.
All of these thoughts make me realize how much of life is of no consequence. As much as I enjoy writing and sharing funny stuff with you, I can't go any further without bringing up what is most important. I was in bed and had to get up to write this, so keep on keeping on to the end of this post.
Not only am I now more aware of the promise of death than ever before, but over the past 3 years, I've become more aware of my sin than ever before. Some of you know the circumstances that have been most challenging for me over this time. If you don't and want to know, feel free to ask.
I think I knew I wasn't perfect before this time, but really it's pretty clear to me at this point, that I had NO clue how imperfect I was. I really thought I was basically good. To say this "basically good" thought got turned on it's head is an understatement. I completely surprised myself at how horrible my natural inclinations were. No doubt now, I have come head to head with my selfishness, anger, impatience, vengeful heart, apathy, and lots of other very ugly emotions, verbal responses, and actions.
Through this, I've become even more convinced of what I already knew. There is NOTHING good in me. No question. I can honestly say, that at my core, even my best intentions are so lack.
If you've known me forever, you know my background. My dad's a pastor. And, some of you who've known me since before forever know that I spent more time at church then I probably did at home growing up. So, if reconciliation for my flawed heart comes from logging good works like classes, mission trips, scripture memory, giving, and such, then I'm set to go. Really, I've done enough of all that for myself and like 10 of you if that's what it's all about.
But, it's not. Those things are easily done. Anyone can do any or all of those things.
I got up to write this because I have to say that I in spite of my ugly heart and my contemplations about life going fast and death, I have peace. I have been redeemed. Definition of redeem: to clear by payment, to obtain the release or restoration of, to buy back, to recover. So, that's me. Redeemed.
In God's grace, His love I could never earn, He provided payment for me through Jesus Christ. Not through a set of requirements, not through any other person, not because I'm a good person and worth it. Only because in His mercy, He showed me my need and I chose to repent (definition: to feel sorrow for conduct or attitudes and be disposed to change) do I have confidence that I am no longer only God's creation, but also his beloved daughter.
I got up to write this because I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one who's taken an honest look at my heart (or been slapped upside the head by it). And, I know I'm older than some of you, but I'm younger than some of you too :), so I can't be the only one having the, "wow, life is going so fast, what's next?" thoughts. And, that leaves me with the desire for you to have the same confidence, hope, and peace I have. Really. I want you to know and want you to rest too.
God has promises that, as His child, He will never leave me (even at the times I've been the most ashamed of myself). So, I know that whatever life does end up looking like after I'm not here on earth anymore, I will be safe because He is trustworthy and I will never be away from Him. And, in the meantime, in the now part of my eternal life (because I am no longer dead in my sin!), He is growing me in the fruit of His spirit.....peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self control, and love. I am certain and thankful that in my weakness He is strong!
Okay, now I'm going back to bed. Know I'm praying for so many of you (and would be for more if I knew you were there! :). Night!