According to my math, which is always suspect, as I write this I have been alive about 34,164,000 minutes. Some of these minutes passed unnoticed, like when I was asleep. (Yes, there have been quite a few of those.)
Other minutes have passed rather quickly as when we are on vacation or I am spending time with grandchildren. Still others drag on and on as days seem to pass so slowly. Generally, I find the longer I live, the more quickly minutes pass. I also must confess that I waste far too may of those minutes on unimportant and inconsequential things. What I spend that time doing might address the immediate, but that is not always the most important.
I think of all the facets of a life that can change so quickly, maybe in a period of time even shorter than a minute. A family member runs to the store to pick up a needed addition to a family celebration and in a moment of inattention is involved in a fatal crash and never returns. A relationship with a positive, solid history of years is torn apart in minutes by words spoken in the heat of an argument.
A swallow of alcohol, one puff of marijuana or a minute’s lapse with the wrong friends destroys a recovery of one, two or twenty years. A quiet, welcoming small town turned into a pile of lost homes, businesses and people from a tornado that took only a few minutes to rip through the area. An older couple talking and waiting for their favorite show to begin at 8:00. At 8:01, the wife is left watching her husband who will never see that next episode–his heart suddenly stopped, never to beat again.
Not all things that happen within a minute are necessarily tragic. One minute a women in obvious discomfort lying on a hospital bed. The next, cries of joy, relief and a baby known only to God and the mother enters the world. A 22-year-old begins their walk across a stage a student and a minute later graduates with a teaching degree ready to challenge the minds of a room full of third graders. Two people become one with the blessing of marriage.
But the most wonderful moment here on earth, whether it happens after a number of years or with some water and a few words, is when someone believes. I am not talking about believing in themselves, or their abilities, their employment, savings, retirement, children, grandchildren, pastor, church, president, the stock market, or anything else the world considers important.
The most wonderful moment is when another soul is saved through faith in Jesus’ saving death on the cross. That moment occurs when, through God’s word and the Holy Spirit, faith takes root in a person’s heart. All the life-changes to that time fade in comparison. Through faith in Jesus, all sins are forgiven. We know of his love displayed through his sacrifice for sin. While there may be those losses that come upon us so suddenly, he is there to assure us that our burdens need not overpower us. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.
With faith in Jesus, the good moments, minutes and hours are now something for which we do not have to depend on ourselves to achieve. Now all we do can be a way to say thank you to Jesus for what he has done. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31. Having faith in an all loving God and Savior makes the good times great.
Things can change and sometimes it takes all of a minute. If you do not yet believe, check the time stamps on the pictures of some of our grandchildren at the top and bottom of this post. From an “Okay we will do this because Grandma and Grandpa want this” to “Let’s have fun!” And all in the space of a minute. And those are changes that many may consider unimportant.
But there is a something that everyone will face at one time in life that changes everything. Death will pay each one of us a visit. And in that moment, only one thing makes any difference–faith in Jesus. In that moment–through faith we will be in heaven. It is that basic. There in eternity we do not have to worry about how fast things can change from good to bad. Jesus gave up everything to give everyone a place in heaven. All we have to do is believe.
I pray you are all ready for that moment which you cannot avoid. Do not waste the minutes with which you are blessed. And I thank my Savior that all of these grandchildren already have faith. God is so good.
Untitled Hymn has become a favorite for my wife and me. The lyrics describe faith as it grows throughout a believer’s life. And the picture of faith in death always brings tears to our eyes.
I hope you enjoy the song and come back again to read some more. I will wait you.