So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.~Psalm 90:12 NKJV
It was a different kind of Thanksgiving. We were spending it with our terminally ill dog.
“I thank God Izzy is still with us,” our daughter said, scratching her dog’s chin.
One by one, we shared “Izzy moments.” There was not a dry eye at the table. Yet, our thanksgivings to God were heartfelt despite Izzy’s diagnosis.
Because of her advanced age, we had not prayed for healing—instead, we had asked God for “one more good year.” A year and a half later, she was still with us. God had exceeded what we’d asked for, and we had learned to be thankful for things we once took for granted.
It was a year to make memories. We helped Izzy celebrate the life she still had this side of heaven, and to make the most of what she could still do.
One morning, Izzy spent five minutes navigating the deck stairs and another five taking her place in the middle of the yard, to bark—once—at deer she saw over the fence. As the deer fled, she kicked her feet and marched back across the yard and up the deck stairs, seemingly in slow motion. I wanted to help her, but she wanted her independence. And so, I stood at the ready, but allowed her to have her triumphant moment.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.~Psalm 46:1 NKJV
This situation helped us to be aware of what caretakers of terminally ill family members go through and how God is a very present help in these troubling times. God was there–we all knew it and were aware of His presence, sustaining us through the difficulties.
We relied on each other to coordinate Izzy’s medical needs, surgeries, and times watching her. We wanted to make sure she was well cared for, and we managed, for the entire time, for Izzy to have one of us with her. We also comforted each other, which strengthened our family bond.
Not being in control of the situation did not dampen our family’s faith. We were aware Izzy was on borrowed time as the diagnosis was supposed to limit her lifespan to three to six months. But she lived far beyond that, only by the grace of God.
I have come to realize the terminal diagnosis was a gift. God did not give Izzy sickness, but He strengthened our family bond because of it, and He also helped us to realize the brevity of life. We now unashamedly spent quality time with each other, treasuring each day the Good Lord has graced us with. We treasure making memories.
The reality is–we are all on borrowed time. What kind of legacy are we leaving our loved ones with the time God has given to us? He wants us to enjoy each moment, and the memories we will one day have as each of us ascends to Heaven and into His arms of grace.
No one escapes death. But Heaven awaits the believer. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 is a stark reminder of the cycle of life. There is a time to be born—as well as a time to die. In Psalm 90:12, the psalmist reminds us to number our days.
Friend, God has placed within us unique talents and abilities. If we were more purposeful with the time God has allotted us, what would we spend more time doing?
>Enjoy more sunrises, walks on the beaches, or daring adventures?
>Work as unto the Lord, but balance this with more family time?
>Help our neighbors more readily?
>Love more and worry less?
>Share the plan of salvation more often, with boldness and love?
>Read our Bibles, pray, worship, and fellowship with God’s people more?
Whatever the “more” is that you related most to from the list above, or whatever you imagined as you read this, determine to start doing those activities now. Each day is a treasured gift. Let’s commit to leaving our family and friends better off because of our contributions, our love for them, and our devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.
How can you make the most of the days God has given you?
Lord God, thank You for life! Help me to prioritize my time so I can accomplish everything You want me to do. Thank You also for the eternal life You have given me through Your Son Jesus Christ.
Copyright 2021: A Different Thanksgiving: Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved
Published: November 2021: Inspire a Fire: Senior Editor Martin Wiles; Executive Editor Cindy Sproles