Be Ready for the Unexpected
Do you know where you are going when you die? What is it that you will leave behind? How will you be remembered? This last week shocked me…one of the godliest women I know died unexpectedly.
On April 21, early in the morning, Mary Ashford gave of her time by working in the church, visiting with friends and going home to fertilize her begonias. The Easter weekend had been very busy…playing piano at two churches and giving, as usual 100 percent to those around her. While tending to the flowers in her yard, a neighbor noticed her fall…it all happened so quickly, so unexpectedly. Mary passed away in her own beautiful yard doing something she loved to do, what a beautiful way to go. What a way for God to call her home. And yet, the rest of the family, friends and even the world are left in shock because no one saw this coming!
Mary was ready to meet God, she even had her funeral planned out and tucked away in her Bible. This was so like Mary, ready for the unexpected, ready for the Lord when He would call her. Mary was ready…but, the thought that might have entered you mind is, Am I ready? I will share with you three steps in how you can be ready, too.
Step 1: Accept the Free Gift of God
Do you know where you are going? Life is like a journey with all kinds of curves in the road. Jesus hit many of those curves head on. He conquered what seemed to be impossible and did this for you. If you do not know Jesus the Bible talks about where that will take you, God longs for you to be saved.
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I, Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40
God gave His only begotten son, Jesus Christ for the wrong turns you took on your life’s journey. He died on a cross for your mistakes and rose three days later and conquered death and its sting. Jesus did not do this for personal gain, nor for a suicide mission, but to open the road that will bring you to peace, joy, love and eternal life. To a much better life, a life of purpose and abundance.
The only way to be close to God and be forgiven for your wrongs is by accepting Jesus as your Savior. How can you do that? By believing that He died on a cross for your faults, that he conquered death, rose on the third day, and now sits on the right side of God. Jesus Christ bridges the gap between you and God.
You can receive Jesus by talking (praying) to God. God is not so concerned about if you deserve it or are good enough. It is the attitude of your heart that matters.
The following is a suggested prayer:
“Lord Jesus please come into my heart. I need you, thank you for dying on the cross for my mistakes. I open my life and receive you as my Lord. Thank you for forgiving me for my sins. Take charge over my life help me to be the person you want me to be. I believe that you died for me and that you rose on the third day and that you now sit on the right hand of Your Father for me.”
Does this prayer answer the longing in your heart to belong and be accepted??
If it does, pray this prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, just as He promised!
Step 2: Love God and Love Others
What is your destination on the road of your life’s journey? Are you serving self or God? Is there anyone you have a grudge against or one that you struggle with? How freeing it would be to give that over and forgive and let God do the rest.
“and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:14-15
“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” Ephesians 4:26
Letting go and letting God is so much easier said than done. Yet, when you allow God to be in charge and give it over to Him, it brings you incredible joy and peace. God is the God of reconciliation and no matter what happened in the past as long as you hold a grudge it is you that imprisons yourself to that bitterness.
Step 3: Be Ready
Have you set your house in order? Most people will put this off and yet it is so important to be ready for the unexpected. The biggest fear my mom had when my sister and I were young is that we both would want special keepsakes such as the menorah. The sad part is that my sister nor I never even had thought about this. King Hezekiah was told to get his affairs in order.
“In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.'” Isaiah 38:1
To put your affairs in order you need to:
- Put your important papers and legal documents in one place, if this is in a bank safety box have copies at home in a safe place. Keep this current and up to date.
- Tell a family member or trusted friend that you trust where your papers are. If you do not know anyone you can contact a lawyer for help.
- Give consent to those in advance that need to make decisions for you, have a will ready, this will prevent a lot of frustration and agony for those left behind.