Sunday January 26th, 2020 was family day for me and my crew. We packed up my soon to be former office, explored a new mall sharing one Auntie Annie’s plain pretzel and ended at Munchies for ice-cream. Here, we all expressed ourselves differently by the types of flavors and toppings we picked. Then as our youngest chose to but for a minute own the cups of his sugar-eating teammates, spoons of melting ice-cream flying across my husband’s face and beard, there was a thought lingering…to cherish these moments and rather than be upset of spilled milk – literally – choose to laugh at the milk-sprayed beard. In that same thought was that of the Bryant family and the tremendous loss from having heard about it a few hours into our family day date.
As we wound down for the night and gathered for our regular Sunday night devotion, my husband and I were looking for the words. We felt what was heavy on our hearts was just that – appreciating life, seeing and really seeing each other, and loving one another. He asked me if I had any Bible verse to read and immediately I whispered Romans 12, specifically 12:12 but start from verse 9 – 21. The NIV version titled this block of verses “Love in Action” appropriate for the tension of the day.
We hear it, we read it that…tomorrow is never promised, life is too short, you only live once, live life to the fullest…and the list goes on. I want you to pause and add this to your list but it’s a question…two questions actually: if tomorrow never comes for me, where will I spend eternity and what legacy do I want the world to remember me by? The reason why I love Romans 12:12 is this, it assures us of how we ought to live life in both good times and not so great times.
- Be joyful in hope: joy comes from the heart, from the inside out. A fulfilled space in our hearts that material things cannot fill, it is a state when you have contentment and despite a hardship, you can smile and feel full with a higher peace. Live expectantly that all things will work together for your good!
- Be patient in affliction: patience is a virtue they say, add patience in the Lord produces immeasurable strength and perseverance to will. Why? Because when you are patient and you stand the tests of life, you grow in many ways and if you allow, you are strengthened to impact many lives through your testimony.
- Be faithful in prayer: the ultimate soul hugger for everyday. Prayer puts us in conversation with our maker, it brings us to the face of our Heavenly Father who sees us and really sees our heart. he hears our pain, He knows our struggles and He hugs us while preparing to send us a magnificent victory. Prayer moves mountains, prayer makes a way, prayer heals broken hearts, prayer wakes up dry bones, prayer defeats the enemy, prayer unveils miracles, prayer calms the roaring seas, prayer is our ultimate weapon and soul hugger everyday!
My eight year old daughter could visibly see the shock as her parents processed the shock of Kobe and his daughter Gigi’s passing. It was an appropriate time to teach some lessons. As we discussed the above scripture, I closed with this: “Kennedy, life has ups and downs, today might be a happy day but tomorrow could be awful…could be a reminder of how delicate precious life is…like today. What I want you to know and remember is that there is an end to everything…even life. That is why you must live and love people, you must see people, your brother, me, daddy. You must get to their hearts and not just see their faces. Life is not eternal but your soul will be. Do you understand that we must live everyday doing good just as Jesus did?” Her response was obvious.
Here’s what it comes down to…when storms of life roar, let your soul roar louder!!! You must remain confident that He who created you, and willed you to be, no matter the heart ache, the heartbreak, the struggle, the affliction, the darkness, the challenge, the heart blockages…God will see you through to completion if you never give up hope, you remain prayerful and love even when you don’t ‘feel’ like it. Life is now, live it well, live it in the abundance of God’s love and peaceful joy.
With much encouragement,