A Precious, Short Gift

By Nancy Flory Published on June 30, 2020

“Nancy, wake up! Wake up!” I slowly gained an unsettling awareness of laying on small rocks. I was just outside my doctor’s office. Sirens blared in the background as my doctor gently shook my arm and moved my legs. “You’ve passed out. We’ve called an ambulance.” I opened my eyes. My six-year-old son stood to my left. His tears ran down his cheeks and his lips trembled. “It’s okay baby,” I tried to reassure him, even though I wasn’t sure myself. 

Policemen stood over me, asking me questions like, “What day is it? What time is it?” I was keenly aware that today wasn’t a good day for a dress. And the irony that I was never a good guesser on time of day. It’s always been a problem for me. 

A nurse dug through my purse for my phone and called my husband. By this time, paramedics were peering down at me. I felt like a zoo animal. “Can I get into your purse for your ID?” a police officer asked. “Can you give me your insurance card?” a paramedic asked. Everything seemed so surreal.

The whole thing started when the doctor asked me to stand outside to take a COVID test. It was just my doctor, me and my son. As soon as she started probing my nose with the long q-tip, I knew I was in trouble. Then she did the other side. I told her I didn’t feel well and started to sit down on a rock next to the sidewalk. That’s all I remember until I awoke with her leaning over me calling my name. I couldn’t believe I’d passed out.

But what struck me most was that it all happened so quickly and I was unaware of anything until I heard her calling me to wake up. It was truly a wake-up call that life is so short. I wondered if that’s how it is when we die — we lose consciousness and awake to Jesus calling our name.

A Precious, Short Gift

How should we handle this precious, short gift? 

Understand that life is fleeting. James 4:14 reminds us that our lives are over quickly. “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (NKJV) Psalm 39:5 says, “Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.” In the middle of all of our busyness, we are reminded to slow down and recognize the gift of life. What we do with it counts for eternity.

Let God direct your life. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (NKJV) Ask the Lord for direction and wisdom. He gives wisdom freely to all who ask. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5, NKJV)

Don’t be afraid. “The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1, NIV) Ask the Lord to give you His peace, because it’s only His peace that will calm your soul completely. (Phil. 4:7)

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Those of us who know Christ have nothing to fear in death. 2 Corinthians 5:8 says, “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 

Yes, life is short. Let God direct your steps and know that you have nothing to fear. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

And one day you will awake to hear Jesus calling your name.


Nancy Flory is an associate editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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