I receive a daily e-mail devotional. This one came this morning and seemed like a good reminder not just for Valentine's Day, but everyday.
Linger Just a Moment
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:20b (NIV)
"Breathe in every moment of your day today.
Recognize what a gift today is.
Grab someone you love and let your embrace linger just a moment longer.
Take mental pictures of the toothless grin of your baby, the tousled hair of your toddler, the crooked smile of your teenager.
Hold your husband's hand.
Look past the dirty dishes in the sink, the laundry piled high, the stuff the kids left out and see the beauty entangled in all this evidence of life.
And thank God for it all. Right now, in this second, see the blessing.
I guess I am in a reflective mood this week because I sat beside a family that so unexpectedly had to say goodbye to their Dad and husband. One minute the mom and daughters rushed past him giggling their way to the mall. I imagine the typical quick, "Love ya, see ya."
Less than an hour later, he was riding his bike when a car veered across the center lane and struck and killed him in front of my home.
The next day the family came over to my house and together we prayed at the place where his body was found.
So many questions. So many tears.
As we sat in the circle surrounded by broken bicycle parts, pressed down grass, and police paint marks - it all just seemed so unbelievable. My neighbor Holly and I prayed and hoped that somehow through our fragile words the peace of Jesus would fill the gaping holes in their hearts.
The thing that seemed to bring them the most comfort was knowing that we never left the scene of the accident. The minute we realized there was a cyclist involved, we started praying. We realized this was not just a victim -- this was someone's Daddy. Someone's husband. Someone's friend. We were there when they pronounced him dead on the scene. We stayed until the accident was cleared and the coroner came and took his body. He was never alone. Not so much because we were there but because Jesus was there. I pray they know this.
Isn't this what every soul needs to know?
The very last words of Jesus recorded in the gospel of Matthew is, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
I have no idea what I might face, today, tomorrow, next week, or next year. No idea. Experiencing something like this forces you to see the stark reality of the brevity of life.
So, I will breathe in every moment of my day today.
I will recognize what a gift today is.
I will grab those I love and let my embrace linger just a moment longer.
I will take mental pictures.
I will hold my husband's hand.
And I will thank my Jesus for the gift of one more day.
Dear Lord, I recognize you are with me and those that I love. Thank you for this comfort. Please open my eyes to all my blessings today. Cement in my heart what a gift today really is. And may I never take for granted those I love. In Jesus' Name, Amen."