Recently I met with an old friend, someone I’ve known for over 60 years, whose health has been slowly declining. It was such a joy to be able to spend time with him again. While we were laughing and reminiscing, he suddenly paused and became very quiet. He looked over intently at me and said, “I’ve lived a good life.” His countenance and his words pierced me. My heart hurt, and I grieved at even the thought of not being with him again. But then I wondered, “What does he mean when he says, ‘I’ve lived a good life?’ Does he mean he’s been financially successful? That he owns a lovely home and has enough money in investments to live out the rest of his days in relative comfort? That not too many ‘bad’ things have tripped him up? Or did he mean, “I Did It My Way” as Frank Sinatra so proudly sang?” What does that mean to live, to have lived a good life?
Preparation for THE Life
Ps. 90:12 NLT
Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
In Martha’s December Message of the Month, she revealed through the Word “that wisdom with a capital “W” is Christ. And it is seeing as God sees” – God’s perspective. While I’ve been seeing more than just one aspect of what living a ‘good life’ means, I remembered a vision I had years ago while I was with Martha at a retreat in Nashville, Tennessee. I was sitting alone with the Lord. Suddenly I was seeing that in this life we are all in the womb of God, and I experienced being in His womb myself.
I saw that here we are like embryos being formed, growing and developing; I saw that this is not The Life, this is the preparation for The Life. When we die we are born into the real life, and we are what God has been forming unknown to us in this earthly life. Some will be aborted prematurely, some will be stillborn and some will be fully developed. But our real life begins in the next life. This is only our womb life.
For this world is not our permanent home;
We are looking forward to a home yet to come.
I felt then that He was showing me that this time on earth is the preparation and training to rule and reign with Him now and for eternity. The hardships and suffering, His reproofs as well as his abundant blessings have all been sovereignly designed to reveal Him, to cause us to fall in love with Him and embrace His purposes.
EMBRACING THE PREPARATION
God uses circumstances and people, bitter and sweet, to bring me to deeper surrender to Him and to His ways. They are the training ground and personal call to the One who not only loves me, but “at the right time will bring everything together under the authority of Christ, everything in heaven and on earth” (Eph. 1:10 NLT). They are the tools He uses to lay bare and chisel away in me all that does not conform to the image of His Son. They are the preparation for The Real Life. It is an adventure and a mystery unfolding, the unknown in the Hands of the One who knows all from beginning to end.
What is it to live ‘the good life?’ As I contemplate that question, I realize living ‘the good life’ is embracing the preparation of this life for The REAL Life.