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I stared at the text in disbelief. A dear lady from our church had slipped into eternity.

How could she be gone already?

It’s been a tough year for our church. A few months ago, we lost a precious lady to a vicious liver disease. Two more members are fighting stage 4 cancer. We intercede daily for them, praying God will grant them strength for this unending battle.

But this last one caught us all by surprise. On November 11, Pastor texted the prayer chain that our dear Eva Jo had been diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer. We were shocked. She had just been in church, sitting in her usual spot, halfway up the aisle on the right side of the auditorium. She would never sit there again.

On the morning of November 21, another text came through. Eva Jo was safe in her heavenly home.

Eleven days.

Eleven days from her cancer diagnosis to being held in the loving arms of Jesus.

As I stared at the text, two things came to mind:

First, did I give her a hug the last time I saw her?

Yes.

Yes, I did. I walked down from choir, greeted her, and slipped my arm around her shoulders. But I didn’t know it would be the last hug I’d ever give her.

I didn’t know I would never again see her gentle smile, or her hair pinned up in that perfect bun she always wore. I didn’t know our next greeting would be a heavenly one.

But the truth is, we never know. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to love our family and friends with open arms and hearts all the time. We are never guaranteed tomorrow.

The second thought that came to my mind was this:

What would I do if I only had eleven days left to live? Would I spend my time any differently?

The answer was a definite yes.

I would treasure every single moment with my family. I would look up from my phone and into their eyes. I would tell my boys how incredibly precious they are to me. I would make sure my parents know how grateful I am for their daily prayers and constant concern.

I would write my most impassioned blog post ever, begging my readers, family, and friends to receive God’s gift of salvation if they hadn’t already done so. I would walk my street, knocking on my neighbors’ doors and telling them about Jesus. I would tell every person I met that I only had a few days to live, and ask them if they knew where they would spend eternity.

These thoughts brought immediate conviction to my heart.

Because that’s the way I should be living, regardless of how many days I have left on earth.

My friend, we don’t know the future. Life is uncertain. We can’t control if we will live a thousand more days, or a dozen more.

But this we can do:

Love one another like it may be the last time.

Spread the Gospel like we may not have another chance.

Whether it’s for the next eleven hundred days, or the next eleven….

Make each day count.

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? it is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away.” {James 4:14}

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” {Revelation 21:1, 4}

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