“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”(James 4:14)
My mother had developed yet another blood clot in her leg and was about to undergo her third surgery in three weeks. As soon as she was wheeled into the operating room we were taken to a waiting room. It was full of people who were also awaiting the fate of their loved ones. We had all turned over our most prized possessions to people who we trusted were trained to do what we could not.
From sunrise to sunset my family and I sat and waited for the doctor’s verdict on my mother’s condition. We prayed that she would not die on the operating table as my father had just a few years before. Nevertheless, we believed that if she did die it would be the resolution God knew was best. No one wants to lose someone they love, but it is a selfish desire to want to extend someone’s pain and suffering. So, we sat and waited for events to unfold.
In a waiting room all one can do is wait.
There are defining moments in our lives when reality hits us in the face. In that waiting room some things became perfectly clear to a lot of people. Maybe, for the first time in their lives, some grasped the truth that all men are created equal. For, no matter whom we have become and no matter what we possess, death claims us all one day. And when it does, we will go to our graves naked. At deaths doorstep everything is shed-our appearance, our status, our wealth, our clout—everything. What once had value suddenly doesn’t matter. In that waiting room many people discovered how helpless they are to change the one event which will affect them the most. And that new-found thought was visibly tearing some of them apart.
People are humbled in the presence of the awesome power of death. As I looked around at the many faces before me I wondered how many of them were regretting not having told someone how much they were loved, and were now wishing they’d spent more time with them. How many had not forgiven someone they may never see again?
Which of those faces would never have the chance to tell their loved one that they were sorry for something they’d done or said? Who among them feared death because they had nothing to hope for beyond the grave? And, I thanked God for the assurance that mom’s faith in Christ had guaranteed her a place in heaven.
Life is too hard to struggle through it alone. I simply can’t get through the ordeals of this life without Christ’s help. He alone has given me the ability to rise above my hardships. He alone has comforted and mended my broken heart. It amazes me how many people continually try to make it without Him. It’s no wonder so many people attempt to drown their miseries in a bottle, or try to deaden their hurtful memories with drugs. There are thousands of people who fool themselves into believing that they can soothe their aching heart in the arms of strangers. Sooner or later we all realize that everything in this life is temporary.
We do not know what will happen tomorrow. Our days are numbered and there is nothing we can do to change that; however, we can change the quality of our days by changing our priorities and our attitudes. If only we could learn to tackle each day with gusto, a thankful heart, and a joyful attitude knowing that God’s got our back. If only we could turn everything over to God as easily as we hand ourselves and our loved ones over to the mercy of our physician. If only we could…