Years ago, I was at a funeral when the pastor preached about a “dash.” He had my attention very quickly as I have never heard a pastor use this thought.
He stated that if you go to any graveyard you’ll find a birth date and a death date that is given by the Lord himself; only the dash between is ours to do with as we please.
For you see we all are born and die without choice but all the time between is given as a gift from God, he ask only that we believe on him as found in the popular verse John 3:16.
That dash really means a lot on that stone, it tells a story about you that determines your eternity after you leave this world, for you see what you do with that dash is your free choice you can live your life as you choose but, he wants you to let him be the center of your life so that he can help you though it.
God sent his only Son to die for you to restore our relationship with him that was destroyed many years ago in the Garden of Eden due to mans lack of obedience to God’s rules; for you see anything that separates you from God is sin, period.
God has a perfect plan for your life but unless you communicate with him though prayer and reading the Bible you’ll never be able to figure out this plan. You can fill your life with all kinds of things to try to be happy and fill the void that God has for you but it will always bring disappointment. The only one that can fill this void is Jesus nothing else will do. I’m not saying after you do this life will be easy, but you will have someone to help you then.
God sent his Son Jesus to give us life more abundantly, and what I take from that is as a Christian when I go though tough times, I don’t have to get stressed out for he walks with me and I can turn it over to him in prayer, and he gives me peace that he will see me though. I don’t have to do what the rest of the world does to drown out my fears or dread in meds, alcohol and drugs just to cope with my troubles.
When the time comes and you find yourself facing God he will know what you did with the dash he gave you and what choices you made with it. He wants to see that you chose to live for him by obedience in love for your fellow man helping you brother and sister loving them as he first loved us and spreading the Gospel of Jesus to a lost and dying world. Just remember, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
The writer is a minister at Solid Rock Pentecostal Church and chaplain at Wilson Memorial Hospital.