Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One More Day with Jesus

On March 2 this year, I reached a milestone. As of that day, I have walked one more day with Jesus than without Him. I have lived as a Christian longer than I lived as an unbeliever. Why is that so significant to me? Here are a few reasons:

Grateful for Perseverance

There's a song by Hillsongs Australia (1992) entitled, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" that has this line, "Jesus, lover of my soul/Jesus, I will never let you go." I get a little twinge when I sing that line. Can I really sing that with integrity? Will I really hold on to the end? Will there be a time in my walk where I think there's a better alternative? I don't know. But I do believe in the "perseverance of the saints," meaning that those who truly belong to the Lord will persevere to the end. So if I am truly His, I have nothing to fear.

In any case, I have somehow managed to stick with Jesus for more than 20 years now - despite losing friends who didn't understand my choice to follow Him; despite the woman who led me to Christ subsequently turning away from the faith because of Christians who treated her unkindly; despite messing up relationships with family members who were right to question my early legalistic brand of Christianity; despite hospital visits and financial trials and nagging doubts and my husband's unemployment and the pain of watching our sister-in-law lose her battle with melanoma.

Why did I stick it out? Even though I was a "Little Miss Goody Two Shoes" before I met Jesus, my life still felt empty and dark and unstable without Him. I longed for life to make sense. When I met Jesus, it did. It didn't mean the pain went away or life got easier, but it meant having someone by my side to guide me and love me unconditionally and talk to when I needed a friend. I think the bottom line is that whenever I thought about giving up on Jesus, I couldn't think of a single thing I would gain from doing it...and a whole lot that I would lose.

Longing for the New Earth

One more day with Jesus also means I'm one day closer to living in the New Earth. Eternity can seem pretty scary regardless of your destination when you think that it's FOREVER. That's a very long time. When I first became a believer I remember being really freaked out about heaven. I wasn't sure that I wanted to be anywhere FOREVER. But over the years, I've heard more teaching on the New Earth and how we get to live in a totally restored and renewed earth. Now that's something I can get excited about! 

There's so much of the world I haven't seen, and likely won't see before I die, but when it's restored, I can see it all and take all eternity to do it! And I get to do it with Jesus and Christians from all over the world - some that I have never even met! Who wants to see the Grand Canyon? Hawaii? Europe? 

In that day, the Son will be our sun. His glory will light the whole earth. Jesus Himself will prepare a special place for each of us.  Personally, I'm hoping mine includes a gorgeous garden full of flowers bursting in bloom and a quiet babbling brook leading to a lazily lapping lake. And I wouldn't mind some mountains and a peaceful forest in the background. I can't wait!

An Opportunity to Grow

One more day with Jesus also means I have another opportunity to grow and mature and live the way He wants me to live. I love Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV), "Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil." What a grace each new day is! Every day, I have one more opportunity to sit at the Lord's feet and listen. I have one more day to love Him better; one more day to serve; one more day to pray; one more day to worship; one more day to learn and grow. Today is a day that I can choose to move forward with Jesus.

If you are walking with Jesus, what are some of the reasons you are glad to have one more day with your Savior?

Copyright ©2012 by Cherry Lyn Hoffner. You may not reproduce this post in any form without permission. However, linking to this post is encouraged.

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