There are certain times in life that seem to lend themselves to giving us a sharper focus on what really matters and what doesn’t. Many a young man has been suddenly sobered by the responsibilities of parenthood upon taking in his arms for the first time his newborn child.
Other such maturing moments may occur when we lose a loved one and realize the preciousness of relationships and the uncertainty of life. Or when a tornado, fire, or other calamity suddenly sweeps away our hard-won possessions, and we are better able than ever to understand Jesus’ words, “. . . for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15 NASB).
Illness can have this same effect. How many people have been compelled by a sickbed experience to realize valuable insights they might never have otherwise gained?
The truths we perceive on such occasions were true long before we came to appreciate them. Those passages of Scripture that we skimmed over with barely a thought before, now they pierce our hearts with surprising force (Hebrews 4:12).
But must we go through an experience that really “shakes us up” before we begin to comprehend what life is all about? Why are we so often “dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11) when life goes smoothly and routinely? Why are we so often “slow of heart to believe” (Luke 24:25)?
Most of us could be closer to God than we are. Perhaps we have habits and attitudes we need to change. Someday we may deeply regret that we did not take our responsibilities to the Lord and His church more seriously. But why wait until we get a “wake-up call” to make the needed changes—if indeed we should even have that opportunity? Why not today? . . . it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:11-12).
It’s past time, don’t you think?