Tuesday, May 28, 2019

"Without Regrets"

2nd Kings 20.1, 3b NKJV

“In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.”

“And Hezekiah wept bitterly.”

When I got up this morning my body reminded me how old I am. I have a hard time growing old gracefully. I do not easily accept my physical limitations. I dislike hypochondriacs and always thought I would remain quiet about my personal ailments when I got old. Now, at only sixty-six, I am broadcasting them across the Internet.

Have I become that old guy who loves to commiserate about his aches and pains? I hope not, but I wish I had nothing to commiserate about. Unfortunately, my body’s decline is moving at a faster rate than I can easily tolerate. I hate dealing with my mortality. It’s depressing to think that someday I may be unable to play my beloved Racquetball. I already need painkillers and steroid shots to stay on the court. 

King Hezekiah “was sick and near death.” The prophet Isaiah announced the gravity of his condition: “Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.” Facing the reality of his imminent demise, “Hezekiah wept bitterly.”

No matter what our condition, it’s terminal. Have you checked the statistics on death lately? It’s 100%. No one gets out of this world alive. We will all meet our Maker. Sooner or later our time on earth ends. I “shall die, and not live.” It’s inevitable. 

My wife, Adonica, is battled Acute Myeloid Leukemia, having been diagnosed on October 31st, 2014. She fought bravely for her life, facing the possibility of an early departure at only fifty years of age. I loved her and didn’t want to lose her. I prayed for her healing, as did our entire community of faith. But ten months after her diagnosis, she left me. Adonica did not want to go, but she had no choice. I miss her more than I can possibly express here. We will all leave this life in a similar way.  

The real question is… what will we make of our lives until then? I may have another thirty years or another thirty seconds. How will I use these precious moments?

The prophet told the king, “Set your house in order.” Jesus calls me to do the same. Every time I show kindness to a stranger, give my boy a real bear hug, kiss my daughter goodnight, laugh at a small child’s silly joke, make eye contact with someone who wants to communicate, talk about my faith in Christ, complete a chore around the house, reconcile with a lost friend, do superior work at my job, offer a token of appreciation with a smile… I am setting my “house in order” and endeavoring to leave this world a better place than I found it.

Jesus, help me “set [my] house in order” and ready myself to die without regrets. ---

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