Rarely a day goes by now that we don’t hear of some new person who has been diagnosed with cancer — someone else finds out that they may not have as long as they thought to live in this world.
Somewhere in our brains we understand that life is a “mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (Jas. 4:13-15). But judging from the way we procrastinate our work in the Lord, you’d think we had an unlimited amount of time. “No problem,” we say. “If we don’t get it done today, we can always do it tomorrow.”
The truth is, not even Jesus had an unlimited amount of time to get His work done. He said, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (Jn. 9:4).
There will be important things to do in heaven, no doubt, but as far as the work of this world goes, it has to be done in this world. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going” (Eccl. 9:10).
I don’t know about you, but I am behind schedule in the work that the Lord is going to hold me accountable for. Ideally, the opportunity given for a person’s work and the work itself should run out at about the same time. When that happens, a person can say, as the Lord did, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30). For me to be able to say that, however, I’m going to have to pick up the pace of my work.
When the time comes for any of us to die, the Lord will be saying, “Your time is finished.” But that can mean two different things. To some, “Your time is finished” will mean “What you’ve done is enough, so come on home and rest,” but to others, “Your time is finished” will mean “I’m not giving you any more time. You’ve wasted what you were given, so depart from Me.”
The Lord guarantees us the ability and opportunity to get done what He wants us to do. (I believe that’s the point of Phil. 4:13.) But the time He gives us will only be sufficient if we don’t waste it. If we don’t work while we can, the whistle for “quitting time” may blow before we’ve finished our work.
So I say to you: if there is something we know the Lord is going to expect us to have done, then we’d better get busy doing it. We need to work “like there’s no tomorrow” — for no tomorrow may turn out to be exactly what we get.