I wound up in the hospital a few days this week. Fortunately, nothing serious was wrong. I required a few tests to make sure that was the case, but it still an unexpected detour.
While sitting in the hospital room that first night, I reflected on the night before and it brought a key Bible verse into perspective. In truth, God brought that verse to my attention in January. When I still hadn’t acted upon his message, he sidelined me for a few days to mediate upon it some more.
In Revelation 3:1b-3 Jesus has a warning for the church in Sardis, but it might as well have been a warning specifically for Greg Gerber.
“I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”
As I was laying in bed watching a movie the first night back from the Labor Day weekend, and at the end of another unproductive day, I got up to address the frequent calling of my aging prostate. But, when my feet hit the floor, I had trouble walking.
I made it into bed just fine an hour earlier. But when I stepped out, I began experiencing the signs of stroke as I lost function in my entire right side. It was a vivid reminder of how Jesus can come like a thief when we least expect it.
Life on earth is fine and dandy one minute, and then, when we least expect it, we find ourselves on the verge of eternity the next.
As I was sitting in the hospital room, bored out of my mind, I reflected on the list of nearly two dozen book ideas I have. I reflected on the fact I haven’t sent out a personal newsletter, or even started a video training program that I promised to do a year ago.
I dropped the ball on a devotional series I started to write, and I set aside a book I started to write in March to help kids overcome the stigma of growing up fatherless. I also have a book that remains three-quarters finished that I started when my girls were in high school.
If Jesus had come back that night, he would certainly have found my deeds unfinished. He has reminded me of the mission he gave me to write faith-based material to an audience who may never see the inside of a church. I had dropped the ball big time.
I repented of my sloth and laziness – again.
Psalm 90:10 notes that “our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures.”
Last week, I turned 58. If the Psalm is true, I have somewhere between 4,380 and 8,030 days left on this planet. I have a lot of work to do to complete an assignment God gave me many years ago.
Are you diligently working on your God-given assignment? Would Jesus say you have a reputation of being alive, but are really dead?
The truly good news is that as long as breath moves in and out of your lungs, you can still embrace your mission before it is too late. Wake up!