Only Until You Die

I woke up with these words in my head: “Only until you die.”

I had been dreaming (or should I say thinking while I was asleep) about being in a battlefield. It was the battlefield of missions, where one has to cry out to God very often not only for one’s own sin and trials, but also for those of the other sheep.

Being human, there will be times when you are just overwhelmed with the work, with loneliness, with sadness, with the wickedness within and around. Those are the times you ask that question: “How long?”

I asked it in my sleep, close to waking hours. The answer seemed to come from someone far away: “Only until you die.”

This is precious, precious work we are doing, work for eternity. It is a work that is impossible, because it is a work that only God can do. Yet He chooses to utilize weak vessels for His own glory.

But here’s the thing: you don’t have forever. You only have until you die. Death is your rest, and that rest will be complete and eternal.

Doesn’t that bring a sense of urgency to the work ahead? There is not much room to think about anything else.

Time is actually very short. As far as I am concerned, I am living on borrowed time. I truly believe I would have died at an earlier age if God had not saved me. I was once committing myself to a lifestyle that pretty much guaranteed an early death.

And as Oswald Chambers put it, at one point I realized that my “life purpose does not belong to me, but to God.” And unlike many others who are working in the field with me, I had wasted so much time doing the opposite of what my life was purposed for.

Time is short. You only have until you die. Would you not choose then to burn brightly for the truth?

Lord, both body and soul are weary. There is so much within that shouts, “I can no longer…” but Your voice keeps encouraging, “Just a little bit longer…” Give the grace that I need to finish the work, and finish well. It is in you alone that I place my hope.

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