“We Did it!” (Thoughts on a life well-lived)
Last Sunday during worship – there was a moment – a moment in which an appreciation – an overwhelming appreciation washed over me- an awareness of how blessed I am, on how good life is, on how good God has been to me…how faithful He has been to me. I just stopped singing and savored the moment. I so wanted to be able to push the pause button and just stop the clock from ticking even if it were just for a minute. It was one of those rare moments when one feels FULLY alive.
Life is not perfect. Life has not always been easy. There have been deep hurts and tough challenges. But in this season, there is so much joy in the journey. And there is within me a knowing that this is how it is supposed to be in every season of my life…joy in the journey.
A couple of weeks ago, I came across a bookmark that someone had given me quite awhile ago. I had never fully read it. There was a line that stuck out to me. And it annoyed me. It said:
There are women of wit and wisdom who –
through strength and courage –
MAKE IT THROUGH
Isaiah 44:20 says,
He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
What ashes have I been feeding on? What insecurities, unhealthy coping mechanisms, what lies have I been feeding on? What lie is in my right hand that I have not recognized as such? One of the lies that I have believed and so have many other Christians is that we just need to “make it through”. We are just sitting here, biding our time, managing our sin until our real life begins when we die and go to heaven. Not really enjoying life or making the most of it. Passively watching life go by. Limping through life, nursing old wounds. Bruce Springsteen really was right when he sang “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.”
We were created for so much more! To live an abundant life. A life full of joy, peace, and righteousness. Jesus has made this possible for me! What is an abundant life? It is not being rich (though God can bless that way). It is not attaining the “American Dream”. In fact, the older I get and the more I study Scripture, the more I see how opposite the Kingdom of God and the American Dream are to one another. Most other Christians living outside of America live in poverty but have rich lives marked by joy and peace even in the midst of suffering.
An abundant life is a life that follows Jesus. Wherever He may lead. Whatever it may cost. Loving people. Standing up for what is right. Showing compassion. Putting others before ourselves. Living a life of gratitude. Being wonder-struck by the many ways He blesses our lives.
I say all of this to say this:
When I have breathed my last – I don’t want to have just “Made it through” – God forbid, I just make it through life. I want to finish well – to finish with energy – to finish strong.
At the end of my life
- I do not want to say “I made it”
- I do not want to say “We made it”
- I do not want to say “I did it”
I want to cross that finish line with Jesus and say:
“We did it!”
Jesus and me and the people He gave to me to run the race with because no one runs the race by themselves…and to think you can is to have a lie in your right hand. We were meant to serve Jesus in community.
We did the stuff.
We did what God purposed for us to do – no matter how difficult or hard the task.
We did it with joy.
We did it with grace.
We did it with peace.
We did it with faithfulness.
We did it with humility.
We did it with power.
I think that moment I had last Sunday…of overhwhelming gratitude and feeling fully alive….can happen more often. I must not choose to just “make it through” but to live life full throttle, arms opened wide, embracing every opportunity and taking risks as I follow Jesus. And when I have closed my eyes for the last time on this earth and opened them for the first time in Heaven may I hear Jesus say “Well done, my good and faithful servant…WE DID IT!!!”