Last night on our way to dinner, a friend and I were talking about all of the unfortunate series of events that had happened over the past week, mainly the deaths that surrounded us in the past year. One of stories stood out to me. A few weeks ago, a story broke about a man who dressed in a Santa suit and went to the home of his ex-wife with intentions of killing them all. Upon ringing the doorbell and his presence being revealed, a little girl ran toward him with much excitement to see Santa only to be shot in the face. Sources say that she turned her head just in the nick of time so that she wouldn’t be shot point blank, this resulted in the bullet hitting her along the jawline. When I heard this story, I was quite convinced that the little girl died, but my friend corrected me and let me know that the little girl survived her family and now has a face that will need to be reconstructed.
I was blown away by the fact that this little girl survived. Now she will be in the position to get facial reconstructive surgery or a facial transplant, which by the grace of God was a procedure successfully performed for the first time in early December. That is God’s grace.
Many of us lost loved ones in 2008, if we didn’t lose anyone in our immediate circle, we saw the constant news of icons, legends and leaders dying at an alarming pace. With so much death around us, it’s amazing to think that God saw fit to keep some of us here. What a curious thing to be kept when you watch your loved one die. What a curious thing to know that millions of people die everyday, they never open their eyes after they shut them for the night and yet, you are still here. What a curious thing to be alive and know that if it wasn’t for God you wouldn’t be so. If you ever needed proof of God, there it is.
My father said that he thanks God every day for life because he knows without Him he wouldn’t even have made it as far as he did. This is a man of 70+ years. He knows that everyday he wakes up, it’s a new opportunity to be thankful and glorify his father. In New Year’s Eve service, a pastor remarked that there must be something very special about those of us in the room, that we were fortunate to see the coming of another year. He said that it is evident God needs us here on earth to continue His work. By those words I slumped down in my seat, feeling so unworthy of the gift of life. There were so many that died who I didn’t think deserved it. The countless numbers of little lost children who were taken at the hands of cruel parents. The celebrities who brought joy into our lives through the gift that God gave them. The spiritual leaders who lead many to salvation, revelation and enlightenment. So many have passed before us, so many that seem to have gifts that supersede our current gifts. And yet and still God saw fit to keep me alive for something. Something larger than I can comprehend. Bigger than my understanding, more grandiose than my best laid plans. God wants me here for some reason unbeknownst to me. He keeps on giving me extra days to live out His purpose.
Faced with that revelation I shudder and look forward to this year with great excitement and anticipation knowing that it is not by my goodness that I’ve been kept, but only by the grace of God. He knows exactly what He wants me to do and I only have to follow Him. I may not do it well, but everyday I will make a pledge to live my life by His standards and no one else’s, being thankful that he gave me the breath of life.
So if you are ever tempted to be discouraged about life, remember that God has you here for a purpose. He loves you and He wants you here to be the physical manifestation of His glory on this earth. He has great purpose for your life if you would only stop long enough to listen and meet with Him. You were put here to do more than chase a paycheck, make yourself famous among men or even to find love. You were created to show forth His glory. So show it and be thankful for each new day, for those days bring new mercies every time.