In Him was life, and that life was the light of men (John 1:4 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I wanted to hurl my screaming alarm clock into an abyss. The warmth of my cozy covers and the safety of sleep beckoned my heart to stay, linger and forget what lay ahead of me that day. On that afternoon, I would sing for the funeral of a precious eighteen year-old family friend who had died in a tragic car accident.
Her name was Macie.
She was a girl who enjoyed life.
She babysat my kids when they were small and would often catch a ride home from church with us. She always had a spring in her step, a hug for a child, a kind word on her lips, and a sweet smile on her face. To know Macie was to love Macie. So, as you can imagine, my heart ached intensely when she died.
The sorrow messed with me.
It was heavy.
Everything about her death seemed wrong. She was so young. So vibrant. So loved.
I yearned to turn back the hands of time and somehow alter the course of Macie’s demise. I wanted her to magically appear at the service and tell us that it was all just a big misunderstanding. That she was fine!
I wanted her to be fine.
I wanted her to be alive.
My angst eventually gave way to peace as I remembered that she was fine – because she was alive in the perfect presence of God. The late Barbara Johnson said, “You never know when your time is going to expire, so remember: as you add years to your life, it is more important to add life to your years.”
Macie only lived on this earth for eighteen short years, but she added life to her years when she surrendered her heart to Jesus Christ a year before her death. I imagine that she now skips along streets of gold, worships God whole-heartedly, and loves on the two babies of mine that are in heaven. She always loved taking care of babies.
The Spirit of God and the confidence of Macie’s salvation consoled me, yet I still had to choose to praise God through my grief.
In the sadness, I had to choose to bless the Lord for His plan. Even though His plan didn’t line up with my expectations. Even though those plans left many hearts heavy with ache. God’s grace enabled me to see rays of light in the dark loss because Macie had professed her faith in Christ and was prepared to meet Him when she breathed her final breath.
Adding life to your years is all about Jesus.
In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”
We can all know hope and peace in Christ.
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Jesus came to give you a life that’s full in His forgiveness, bound by grace and freedom.
Do you know that kind of forgiveness?
Let’s live today in the fullness of Jesus… in response to His grace and goodness.
Colossians 2:6-7 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Let’s determine to live each day filled with purpose, praise, and thankfulness as we worship God and point others to Him in love.
It was a sad day when we said goodbye to Macie. After leaving the graveside, I went home, hugged my children, and loved on my husband a bit more than normal. Her death reminded me just how precious life is and how important it is to add life to my years.
It’s important for you too.
Live in the moment. Love your people well. God has a plan for you now.
Dear Lord, Thank You for offering eternal life through the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus. Thank You for replacing my human hopelessness with your divine hope. Please help me look past the distractions and disappointments of this world and to live each day to the fullest in You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Is there someone whom you have offended, won’t forgive, are holding a grudge against or owe an apology to? We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. What would adding life to your years look like for you today?
Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s GiG devotion is adapted from Trusting God by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, & Mary Southerland by permission of Multnomah, division of Random House, Inc.
Are you ready to begin a new faith adventure? Get a copy of the book from Amazon, Gwen’s website or your favorite Christian retailer.
© 2023 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.
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Adding life to my years would look like not walking in the spirit of offense at my job. That was actually my prayer this morning. If I truly trust God, I need to give all my hurt and burdens and offenses to Him to let Him handle it.
What would adding life to my years look like for me? “To live each day filled with purpose, praise and thankfulness as I worship God and point others to Him in love.” I love the reminder that worship isn’t limited to singing songs in the car or at church on Sunday mornings. Our lives are to be a continuous act of worship to God for who He is and all He has done for me. Lord, forgive me for when I’ve “let the distractions and disappointments of this world” prevent me from living my life (the life you have given me) to the fullest.
Dear Sister Susan
Your comment was perfect, to Gwen’s devotional writing.
Couldn’t have said it any better; except to give “Thanks to Jesus” for His ultimate sacrifice for us!
“Praise God, from Whom all Blessings flow!”
Blessings to all GIGs, this day.
Thank you Gwen, Just wondering what song you sang? When my dear sister died unexpectedly at 64, I was grief stricken. My TV had been turned on to a music station and when I returned home after hearing the news, “Be Still My Soul ” was playing. What a beautiful song of comfort that is! Leave to thy God to order and provide…in every change He faithful will remain…Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end…thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake, all now mysterious shall be bright at last… Be still my soul,the hour is hastening on, when we shall be forever with the Lord, when disappointment, grief and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. When change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet atlast! Praise God!
Joy, Thanks so much for sharing this. Be Still My Soul is such a beautiful song. I’m sorry for the loss of your sister so young. Music is such a balm for the hurting soul.
Dear Sister Siusan,
I want to thank you for reminding me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I choose on this 2nd day0f February, 2023 to release all my burdens to God @ the foot of his throne
welcoming the cleansing of my spirit of all past iniquities, delighting in the fact that “God so loved the world that he gave
his and only begotten Son so that we may have life.”.. I rejoice in his ever abounding love and for this I am
truly grateful….Amen and Amen!
Thank you! I have needed this exact prodding for a couple of months. My head knew the truth is in what you said, but my heart just couldn’t hear it. After reading, I started with a difficult phone call and now some prayer. God bless you!
Wow, Mel. Praise GOD! He knew!! Well done. Way to be responsive to His leading.
Wonderful devotion! So true! Know where you are going when you leave this earth and those around you that you love them, appreciate them, and want them to know your Lord and some day be in heaven with you.
Yes! Thank you, Cyndie! I look forward to worshiping alongside of you for all eternity, friend.
Blessings in Christ,
I’m so distraught, depressed. I do not want to live anymore. I am tired . so tired of struggle and dissapointment and hardship. I truly believe someone (from past) put a curse on me. had a dream last night , more like a nightmare, with this person last night and I am so distraught today, crying, cant focus on work, exhausted.
Thanks for sharing your struggles with us, friend. You are not alone. Praying for the Lord to meet you right where you are today. Reach out to some local friends for prayer and community as well. God sees you and loves you.
Praying for you now!
Thank you for today’s devotional. I am trying to add years to my life, but I am stuck and not sure how to move forward. My spouse went to be with the Lord in 2020, still dealing with the grief. In 2022, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had the surgery and now cancer free, praise God. I am still suffering from anxiety and panic attacks as well as insomnia. Praying God will deliver from these bondages, live and not just exist.
This was a timely message in the midst of grief. It also underscores the need for deep reflection about life, about how I deal with the people in my life, about how I live each moment of each day.