When you wake up in the morning, you never really know what the day will hold. We are so accustomed to making plans and schedules and having every day of our week mapped out like we know exactly what the days ahead will bring. Then, without warning, any heads-up, and any prior notice, your day can change in the blink of an eye. This happened to me not too long ago.
I woke up like it was any other Monday. I got ready, threw on the random t-shirt that was highest in the drawer, kissed the family goodbye, and headed to work. On the drive in, my phone was buzzing like crazy, so I gave it a look. What I read next shook my whole world. I am a mama’s boy at heart, and suddenly I was reading texts from the family that my mom was fighting for her life in the hospital. She had contracted one of the most virulent and toxic strands of clostridium difficile, which had developed into colitis. She was in septic shock with a 103.7 temperature, and her kidneys started failing. The doctors were throwing everything they had at her, and nothing seemed to work. Being four and a half hours away, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it but pray. When you wake up in the morning, you never really know what the day will hold.
The texts kept pouring in, each sounding worse than the one before. So, I returned home, and while my wife packed up the family, I went out into the woods and wept. I was distraught. How could this happen? I was angry. I was shattered. In those woods, God comforted me while the throes of life stormed about me.
While loading up the car for our trip home, I noticed the shirt I had randomly picked out of the drawer. It was a church camp t-shirt from this past summer, where our theme was “On Our Way Home.” Every year we try to find a theme that the kids will enjoy, which usually turns into a spoof or parody of a major Disney or Marvel movie. So, of course, this year’s was an homage to the Spiderman movie, No Way Home. What an ironic shirt choice. Not only was I on my way home… for a very real and solemn time there—we thought my mom was on her way to her eternal Home. When you wake up in the morning, you never really know what the day will hold.
Our family was flooded with calls, texts, and social media notifications from people all over the world, letting us know they were praying for us. Thousands of people stopped what they were doing and prayed for my sweet mama. The Lord’s Church—this amazing brotherhood—surrounded us with prayer, encouragement, and support. God answered. BIG TIME. The medicines began to fight the raging sepsis throughout her body. Finally, after ten arduous days, my mom returned home. She is still fighting some lingering issues and effects from the septic shock, and she still has a second surgery ahead of her (please continue in prayer), but we are amazed and in awe by the power of our God.
The Book of James talks about the brevity of life. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:13-16.
I do not know what your tomorrow looks like any more than I know what mine holds. Are you equipped or prepared for your life to change in the blink of an eye? So many of us live our lives like there is always time to get to ________ later. Truthfully though, we do not know what will happen tomorrow. Our life is a vapor or mist that vanishes with the wind. I cannot imagine going through the storms of life without the support and love of the Lord’s Church. I also cannot imagine going through the storms of life without knowing where my soul was headed.
If anything more serious happened to my mom, or if anything does happen to her in the future—I know where her eternal home is. Because of the life she has led and her obedience to Christ… I know she is bound for the Promised Land, the home of the soul. Are you? Whether you realize it or not, recognize it or not, or admit it, we are all headed somewhere. Are you headed Home? Or are you headed elsewhere? If you are a Christian, you better live your life each day like you are on your way home. You never know if today is the day.
-Ben Hogan, Minister of Evangelism