What If You Had Only One Day To Live?

Hello weekend readers. You are probably wondering what a crazy devotion this must be about—but let me tell you why I chose this theme. At the campground here, Al and I encounter so many people from around the globe! Earlier this week we had a couple, she was 90, he was 92! They were from North Dakota and told me this was their “last bucket-list” to be fulfilled.

So, I asked them if they were done RVing in their campervan and their response almost knocked me off my chair: “We both are in the final stages of cancer and our doctor told us the end was coming soon and we knew that, but we felt that we could take one more ride to northern New Mexico because we love it so much.” By this time, I was in tears and they said, almost together, “don’t worry, we know heaven is a lot better than here on earth, we’ve had a great life together and coming here for a few days will be our great hurrah. Then we are back home and hospice-in-home will be with us along with our children and grandkids.”

I was speechless and then I was filled with their love and their deep faith! I told them I was a chaplain and if they needed anything I would be right by their side. They decided to pray for me—again, what incredible ‘angels’ God sent me this day. I’ll never forget it.

What would you do if you only had one or 10 days or 40 days left on earth. What would you do? I thought about it—and scenarios came flooding into my mind which I really didn’t want to think about. And this reminded me of Jesus. After his resurrection, He remained on the earth for 40 more days. So, what did He do during that time? In Acts 1:2-3 [Voice] we read:

“…from the beginning of His life until He was taken up into heaven. After His great suffering and vindication, He showed His apostles that He was alive—appearing to them repeatedly over a period of 40 days, giving them many convincing proofs of His resurrection. As before, He spoke constantly of the kingdom of God. During these appearances, He had instructed His chosen messengers through the Holy Spirit…”

If I knew I had only 40 days left, I’m pretty sure my life would look a whole lot different than it does now. What about you? Here are some questions to muse on from Kevin Carson, pastor, and professor at Baptist Bible College & Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO:

*Who is in your inner circle? These are the people who show up with food when you’re sick, who call just to say “hi” and check on you, who have seen you at your worst and love you anyway. How much time have you spent with them?

*What was your last conversation like? If your last conversation with your inner circle were truly your last conversation, would you have changed anything

*If the people in your inner circle had to describe how they know you love them, what would they say? In our day when we use the word “love” to express how we feel about tacos, coffee, my new car, etc., what sets apart our Christlike love for people?

Dr. Caron’s words are powerful. My next thought had me thinking, “Cyndy—if you knew you were dying soon you should cover those bases early on.”  Sounds like a good strategy, however, the fact is that we may have 40 years-40 days-40 minutes-40 seconds—we don’t know how much time we have left. Only God knows.

Jesus’ mission on earth and what he did in the 3 years of his ministry was amazing. He finished His work on the cross and lived every day after that with continued intentionality. He knew His earthly lifetime would be limited and he made-every-minute-count.

Unlike Jesus, we do not know the length of our life-span. But we can take upon ourselves to model his life and live intentionally. By doing so, the promise of eternal life instills in us that when our days on earth are done, we are NOT DONE! So, until that day comes, ask yourself “what do I want for my final days on earth to look like?” Jesus will help you with the answer. He wants you to start living his way right now! AMEN.