By Rae Lynn DeAngelis

“Pay careful attention, then, to how you live, not as unwise people but as wise.” (Ephesians 5:15)

It was a Sunday evening in May and my husband and I just arrived back home the funeral of a cherished family member. Although he was a cousin by genealogy, Tony was more like a little brother. Gerry’s mom had raised Tony from the time he was twelve years old, after his mom died of breast cancer. His dad was killed in a car accident when he was just a baby.

Gerry and I were already married with one child when Tony came to live with Beverly. He became a permanent fixture in the family from that time on and sometimes came to stay with us during the summer months.

I remember one time in particular when he was about thirteen, I asked Tony to help me move a couple of small trees. Neither of us had experience transplanting trees, so we were a little naive about the amount of work it would involve. Needless to say the project was a bust. After hours of digging, the poor tree looked like it had been through a massacre. A few roots dangled from the base of the tree without a trace of dirt. Tony joked about it for years afterwards, claiming that I had subjected him to child “slavery.” Of course it wasn’t true, but it gave us a good laugh.

Seeing your cousin lying lifeless in a coffin at only forty years of age just doesn’t make sense.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)

Tony’s battle with diabetes began in his thirties, but he never quite accepted his fate. As a result, he didn’t take care of himself and began having complications: amputated toes, failed kidneys, detached retinas. It caused us, his family, great distress to watch him suffer so much because we cared about him.  But the more we tried to encourage him to take care of himself, the more he pushed us away. Concern for his health was perceived as judgment and meddling in his personal affairs.

Only God knows the number of breath filled days we have left here on earth.

How will you spend yours?

“However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all.” (Ecclesiastes 11:8)

Are you treasuring the life you’ve been given, or are you, like Tony, standing at the precipice, barely hanging on, because you’re not caring for the body God has given you? I’m not standing in judgement… just asking the question before it’s too late.

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)

Friends, I urge you to take care of the body you’ve been given. Don’t let the enemy rob you of one more moment of this precious thing called life.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)