On Friday, he wrote on a social media site about his plans for the future. That Sunday, friends were writing messages on his page, telling him how much he’d be missed. He was only eighteen, and his life came to a sudden end after a tragic accident.
I didn’t know him well, but my heart has been grieving since I heard the news. So young. So unexpected. So final. And all who loved him were left with a gaping hole in their hearts.
We never know when we’ll take our final breath. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. And what are we living for today?
If we are living with only the hope of our future here on this earth, we’re missing the greater design. There is a hope that is greater than anything this earth can provide. There is a love that outlasts all that our eyes can see. Nothing here is permanent, nothing everlasting. Everything we see is changing and turning, fading and dying.
But God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, has given us a gift. He’s given the promise of eternal life. We don’t have to live in fear of death, because God has provided life that is truly life—life that is everlasting, in a world with no more hate, only love.
As with any gift, we need only accept it. Though God paid a tremendous price to purchase the gift for us, we pay nothing for this gift. It is a free gift. It cannot be earned, or it would cease to be a gift.
We are free to reject the gift, or to take it and leave it unopened on the shelf of our life. But to do so is to live without the hope and love wrapped inside. When we receive the gift as it was meant to be received, when we open it and embrace it with our entire being, we find hope for this life and for the life to come. We live with purpose each day, knowing that even if tomorrow doesn’t come, something far greater lies ahead.
In Heaven, God will “wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…” (Revelation 21:4). All that will remain is love. This is the ultimate gift, and our greatest hope. It is gift worth receiving.
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)