When Reality Crashes In

We were on our way to pick up our daughter from the airport Saturday afternoon. This is the last time we’ll see her until August and there was sweet anticipation as the airport came into view. But it was another view that captured my husband’s attention…an oncoming car driving fast and erratic, then flying over the median and into our lanes of traffic. The head-on collision happened right next to us, in the lane beside us. I have much to learn about being calm in the face of chaos and I am sure the 911 dispatcher had wished it was someone else calling in the accident. My husband, on the other hand, was the picture of calm as he worked his way through airbags to find the 71 year old victim, assessed his injuries, offered words of encouragement, and stayed with him until help arrived; just as others did for the driver of the first vehicle who was pinned by his dash and steering wheel. 

Times like these quickly bathe my heart in soberness. I am reminded, once again, of the brevity of life and how my well-ordered days, my future plans and the well-being of those I love so dearly can be permanently changed in an instant. I am reminded of the uncertainty of life which keeps me clinging to a God who most certainly has planned and ordained each day. But times like these also beckon my heart to consider my ways, to examine the decisions and choices that I have been making; to consider what I have been living for, speaking about and thinking on. 

Life is a vapor. Each moment that passes is a moment I cannot get back. Each word I say is a word I cannot take back. And I am not guaranteed even my next breath. So why do I live as though I have all the moments in the world; as though my hasty words will be quickly forgotten, my selfish deeds will be ignored and my last breath won’t be till I am in my 90’s? 

I think that is why Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 7:2 “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.”

Life is a vapor. Number my days. Be careful how I walk. Stay far away from careless words. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Rejoice. Give thanks. Pray without ceasing. Teach with kindness. Smile at the minutes, hours, and days to come. Encourage and build up. Don’t complain or grumble. Do good.

Those commands are all found in Scripture…yet how often do I take them to heart? How often do I preach them to myself? How often do I examine myself in the light of these truths? I admit that I am prone to live for my own glory while telling myself I’ll glorify God more fully tomorrow. 

My heart can grow heavy at all the lost moments, the hasty words, and the grumbles in my spirit that so easily creep up. Did I ruin the moment? The hour? The day? Though I repent, I can’t redeem lost time….and my soul can feel downcast.

But one look into the Words that give life, and seeds of hope fill my heart. God is the Redeemer of time, hasty words, lost moments, and all the sin in between! He exchanges beauty for ashes. Ephesians 2:10 says that I am “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that I (we) should walk in them.”

Not only does He redeem, but all His plans for me will be accomplished. My sin will not win out, God will. My fleshly desires will not prevail, the fruits of the Spirit will! The Christian life is not one of gloom and failure but of joy and victory! 

As we approach this Easter weekend, I don’t know what your life looks like, but I know the Savior who gave His life so that you and I can walk in newness of life: new life, not necessarily an easy life. And although we may not always understand, we can rest in the goodness of Jesus; His imputed righteousness and the hope of His resurrection power. It is true that our “one life” will soon be past, but then we will be ushered into the presence of our Heavenly Father forever. To live is Christ and to die is gain! 

“Two little lines I heard one day,

traveling along life’s busy way;

Bringing conviction to my heart,

And from my mind would not depart;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,

Gently pleads for a better choice

Bidding me selfish aim to leave,

And to God’s holy will to cleave;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,

In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;

Faithful and true what e’er the strife,

Pleasing Thee in my daily life;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

C.T. Studd

*Picture taken by Alfonso Galvan

4 thoughts on “When Reality Crashes In

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  1. Oh my, Kristin, your words went straight to my heart. Exactly what I needed to hear today. God reminding me (through you) that I need not despair. Try as I might, somehow, things always seem beyond my reach. I just can’t get it right every time. But your reminder that it is God Himself who does the saving, it is He alone that will mold me, fulfilling His plans in my life, are a balm to my weary mind and soul. By God’s grace it will indeed be done. I just need to rest in that, and trust that God will bring me safely home when this one life of mine will soon be past. Thank you for sharing your heart. May God bless you and protect you and all your beloved family.

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    1. Fran…your words were filled with encouragement and truth! Sometime, even thought we know the truth…when we hear it from someone else it’s like a breath of fresh air on our weary souls! That is why I am so thankful for the body of Christ…the local body and the universal body. It’s such a blessing to be able to link arms as we step heavenward together! Happy Resurrection Day, Fran!

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  2. Kristin, your words made my heart stop! Uncredibly grateful for our Father’s protection for you and Bryan ❤️ And hope the others in the accident are okay. Thank you for the reminder, we need this every day. Our words, thoughts, actions, or lack there of, have eternal consequences. Praising our Savior for the gift your family is to us and all those who read your words of encouragement, hope and wisdom. Praying your time with the family this week is precious and continue to lift you all before the throne. Thank you for always pointing me back to the Face of Him who holds each of us for eternity. Love you always,

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    1. Sweet Cathy…yes, the other two were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, praise the Lord. Thank you dear sister in Christ for your faithfulness to the Lord, your faithfulness in prayer for the saints and your faithfulness to exalt Christ which is and always will be a precious example to my own soul! Love you!

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