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IMG_2479“Lasts” have a way of sneaking up on us, yet there is always a last.
The last time Daddy tosses a child in the air
before they are too big.
The last time mama wipes sticky little fingers.
The last bottle, last band-aid to the knee,
last time you pick up their toys in the hall.
The last time she wears that tutu and spins like a princess, IMG_2304the last time he pulls out his superhero costume
and asks to sleep in it.
True, some finales are known and expected like their last big game or last day of elementary school, but
most are gone before we even realize it,
or prepare for it
.

A family in our church very suddenly lost their wife and mama recently and it was her story that made me consider our lasts. She was driving them to school on an icy morning and she never made it home. Her two little girls survived with their Daddy, but for her, her lasts had suddenly ceased.
This past Christmas was her last one.
Her last Thanksgiving was before that.
There was a last Sunday to mark the final time they would all have the chance to sit in church together.
The night before her accident was her last one to tuck in her treasures and snuggle up next to her man and she didn’t even realize it.
That morning was her final goodbye and she couldn’t possibly have known.

We can’t know our lasts, but we can prepare.
It’s not about filling every moment in a panic of when the “finale” will happen,
but it’s a life of steadfast love fueled by the Father of love.
It’s a generous heart that lives with open hands,
readily giving up what we cannot possibly hope to even hold onto.

As much as we would like to or pretend that we can,
we simply cannot create a bubble big enough
to protect us and the ones we love.
We aren’t divine.

When my husband and I were considering becoming career missionaries overseas, I would often worry about how dangerous it would be. But the truth is, as my man reminded me over and over, the safest place to be is right where God has called you, even if it’s the middle of a foreign country. Likewise, the most dangerous is a heart that rebels against what He has for you, even if it’s just sitting in your driveway watching your kids play.
In the end, it’s our hearts that matter far more than our bodies since our souls will outlive our human “tents” for eternity.

One glorious day there will be a “final last” when God Himself will be made known to all. For those who have entrusted Christ with the only thing that will outlive our bodies forever, our hearts, the “final last” signals the grand beginning of glory that will never end or fade or decay.
The trumpet will sound and
death will die forever as our hearts will be made new for eternity.

In light of our lasts, the minor things seem to fade pretty quickly.
Like that argument with your spouse,
the Legos on the floor,
the stacks of dishes,
our pride being hurt,
or that person you can’t seem to forgive.
When our hearts ache with the grief of tragedy
may it remind us of the importance of making our lasts count.

In the words of the apostle Paul,
Consider then how you live,
not as unwise, but as wise,
making the most of every situation.

Ephesians 5:15-16

We live well by loving deeply and letting our lasts be wrapped in love.