“ … all we’ll remember of our lives on earth will be what follows us into the everlasting … the fruit of our lives will be the people surrounding us, the people who’ll be there with us because, by the power of God Himself inside us, we lived out God’s message of love and goodness and redemption while we were here.”
Kim Woodard Osterholzer, author of A Midwife in Amish Country: Celebrating God’s Gift of Life
Kim, the author above and a good friend, has blessed me to share her story in an upcoming book of mine, Peace Through the Pain. I was reading the chapter this week and the words she wrote spoke directly to my heart. Without ruining the impact of her story, she was writing about what really matters in this life … and reminded me of what it says in God’s Word about how “all we’ll remember of our lives on earth will be what follows us into the everlasting.”
God Himself has been speaking to me lately about priorities and choices. I shared recently about how God has been stirring in my heart that change is on the horizon – good change, but I need to continue to live life instead of prematurely stepping in the river while I wait for God to work behind the scenes.
As God was reminding me of the truth that sometimes He shows up while we’re living our lives instead of commanding us to step into the river without knowing the full destination, that is when I read Kim’s sweet words.
God used her words to further cement in me what really matters in life. It’s not what job I work at, it’s not even what ministry I step into. It’s all about relationships. Making the most of the time we are given with the people God places in our lives – whether for our entire lifetime (our family), brief seasons (some friends) or chance encounters (strangers through God instances). What I do with those encounters, those relationships, is what will last.
Do I want to waste my time worrying about which job I’m supposed to work at for whatever length of time God has ordained? Or, would a better choice be to “live my life” working to the best of my ability while waiting expectantly for God to show up, focusing not on the wait but on cultivating the relationships God has placed in my life?
I admit, while dealing with the situation I explained about more fully in Back to the Basics – Part III, not only did I waste my time worrying, but because of obsessing about the “what if’s,” I ruined the evening I had with my family.
After spending time with God, surrendering the situation to Him, praising Him for the Plan “B” and choosing to trust Him with the outcome, I’m at peace and I’m able to fully engage in the relationships around me the way God intended, even without knowing the final outcome. Instead of making the enemy happy as I did last night, I’m choosing to please my Heavenly Father by allowing Him to handle the details of my complicated life and focus on His real assignment for me – cultivating relationships with those around me and always pointing them back to Him.
A big thank you to my friend, Kim, for reminding me of this important truth. May I continue to focus on what truly matters in this life in order to build lots of wonderful memories with those I love, knowing with confidence I will get to enjoy them in Heaven for eternity as well.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018