Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Kings 20:1–11
Benjamin Franklin wrote, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Will Rogers added the twist: “The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” Every year at tax time, most of us would agree.
Of course, plenty of people go to great lengths to avoid paying their taxes. Some get away with their cheating for years and years before it catches up to them. But no one can avoid death. When your time is up, it’s up.
One friendly undertaker signed his correspondence, “Eventually yours.” Chilling as this sounds, it’s true. Death will eventually come for all of us.
God instructed Hezekiah, “Put your house in order, because you are going to die” (20:1). While we’re aware of death’s certainty, most of us would have to admit that dying doesn’t seem imminent. Death stands as a distant reality. Hezekiah received a reprieve of 15 years. Most of us aren’t so lucky.
Bill battled cancer for three long and exhausting years. Although his doctors gave him little hope, Bill was a warrior. He fought back and the cancer went into remission. When the tumor returned more widespread than before, the oncologist pulled no punches. Bill had just one to three months to live. “Get your affairs in order,” the doctor told him.
What if you were given just a few months to live? What would you do to get your affairs in order? Organize important papers? Check life insurance policies? Fix the leaky faucet in the bathroom? Write down what you’d want to tell your daughter before she married? Make amends with a friend who’s hurt you? Get right with God?
Morbid though the thought may be, each one of us is quite literally just a breath away from eternity. Whether it happens sooner or later, eventually your time will be up and death will come. But you don’t have to wait for grim news to get your house in order. Go through your own list and start working so that you find yourself living with no regrets. And why not start the best way—by making sure you’re right with God?
To Take Away
- What affairs do you need to put in order before you die?
- Do you think that you’re ready to die? Why or why not?
- How does preparing for death make us better prepared for life?
In Other Words
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’” —C. S. Lewis