Skip to main content

A Life Worth Living


We all have an idea of how we hope that our life would go. We all have dreams. We have dreams for our own lives and the lives of people who are close to us. We have goals that we would like to accomplish during our lifetime. We have a measure of what would constitute a complete life for us.

When reality does not match our idealized life, we are disappointed and sad. We grieve the loss of a life that we had imagined both for ourselves and those who are close to us. We wonder where God is in all of these situations.

The Bible tells us about a man with whom we can identify. Jacob’s life had taken several unexpected twists, yet he came to the end of his life content with God’s will. Jacob was ready to die, when his end was approaching. He was at peace with his life and all that God had done through him even though life had not turned out the way that he had planned.

Finally, Jacob said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen your face again and know you are still alive.” Genesis 46.30 (NLT)

Jacob faced adversity most of his life. He and his twin brother fought from the time that they were born. As a young man, Jacob was tricked into marrying a woman that he didn’t love in a two for one special. Jacob left home on bad terms and lived apart from his family for many years. Jacob’s own sons fought and were intensely jealous of Joseph and Benjamin. Jacob’s wife died early. He lived for years as a nomad. He didn’t get along with his in-laws. As an old man, he witnessed a severe famine and saw his grandchildren go hungry.

Despite all of the challenges that Jacob faced, he continued to lead. He dealt with his grief. He chose to follow God. And, he chose to continue to envision a future for himself and his loved ones. He looked for what was redeemable about life. He lived a life that mattered.

All of us face the reality of a life that has not turned out exactly as we have planned. Sometimes we struggle to see all of the good that has come from our lives because it may have been unplanned or may have been forgotten along the way.

What do you want to accomplish in the days that you have left? What might God do in your life that you have not planned? What would it take for you to be able to say at the end of your life that you are ready to go because you know that your life was worthwhile?

Jacob was content knowing that Joseph was alive and that God was still doing His work in the world. May God give us eyes to see His will and work that will live on long past our few days. May God give us a glimpse of the bigger picture.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Casper the friendly atheist

Allow me to put on my educational hat for a review. I freely admit that it is much easier to critique a book than it is to write one.

Book review: Jim and Casper Go to Church

I recently read a new book, Jim and Casper Go to Church, and it has sparked my thinking related to church growth. Jim (a former Pentecostal preacher) hired Casper (a self-proclaimed atheist) to attend church services with him and give his impressions of the services. The premise of the book was irresistible to me as I wish to see the church from the blind side of Johari’s window. I enjoyed the case studies in this book, but I think the authors went too far with their applications.

Jim and Matt’s book was worth the read for me because it made me think, but not for the reasons the authors intended. All truth claims must be evaluated before acceptance into the core of church life. I think that this book fails to provide compelling evidence of truth for most churches.

From a research standpoint the book says more than it…

Why people don't go to church

As a pastor, one of the consuming questions with which I wrestle is “Why don’t people go to church?” In particular, the question is “Why don’t people come to my church?” If you doubt that people are opinionated, ask this question to a group of church people on a Wednesday night. I’ve studied church growth for several years, and I have a number of opinions about the matter myself. But, I wonder if we are asking the right question to the wrong people.

Several researchers in the last few years have begun asking people who don’t attend church why they don’t attend church, and the answers are interesting. George Barna asked this question and provided the answers in his book, Grow Your Church from the Outside In. The top five reasons that people gave for not attending church comprise 83% of the reasons why people don’t come to church.

1. No time; schedule conflicts; working 26%
2. Not interested; nothing to offer; no reason 16%
3. Don’t know 15%
4. My beliefs are different than the church’s 14%
5…

Do good people go to heaven?

When I was on a date in high school one night, I slid off a slippery road and got my car stuck in a muddy ditch. These were the days before cell phones (except for KITT on Knight Rider), and I wasn’t sure how I would get my car back on the road. Within minutes a guy came driving by on a tractor (thank God for growing up in the country), and asked if I needed help. He quickly pulled me out of the ditch and went on his way barely giving me time to say thanks. My car wasn’t damaged and a simple visit to the car wash concealed all evidence that I was driving too fast on a wet road. This experience and many others have taught me that there are a lot of good people in this world.

With so many good people in the world, I am faced with the question of whether or not good people go to heaven. Over the years I have encountered several well intentioned people who have insisted that they simply don’t need Jesus. Most of these people believe in God and believe that God will give them a fair shake w…