|Now it was my turn to meet my Maker. I was quite
pleased at the bundle that was handed to me for it was of great size as bundles go. I felt
quite satisfied. However, there was little joy on my face and great apprehension in my
heart as I entered the flames.
I knew the fire was hot, but there was no harm to my body or soul. It was only life which was affected. There was little hay and only a few fragments of wood. Each burned quickly in the fire and were consumed by the flames.
The bulk of my life seemed to have become blocks which at first glowed with the hue of gold but soon melted and revealed the stubble of which they were made. Fool's gold, that's what it was. Truly in life I was a fool.
I had trusted God and believed in His Son Jesus Christ, but I never applied what He had said to me personally. Yes, it's true, I always thought about others and how they needed God and His power. Yet I felt I could do it by myself. In fact, I thought I was helping God out by not bothering Him. After all, I could do it and I did.
There were many I had led to the Lord and many accomplishments, but the Lord showed me where I was wrong. He showed me why I had failed. It's strange how our motives differ and how varied and ingenious are the ways man has of robbing himself of God's blessings. Pride is a foolish thing, and I was the king of fools. I knew it but refused to recognize it while there was still time.
The Lord just said to me gently and lovingly, "You already know, don't you?"
"Yes, Lord. I know. I've been a fool and tried to do it all myself and for my own reasons. I know already."
"I'm sorry. You meant so much to Me and I wanted to help you, but you wouldn't have it."
"If only I had my life to live again it would be different."
"I know. I would that I could grant that request, but it's impossible. You yourself realize that."
"Yes, I know that too."
"Then come, it is time."
As I stood there alone I recognized His power but like the others before me, I also felt His deep love. I saw Him as my Lord, my Saviour and my Judge, yet He was the same. No man could say anything before such a one. No one in heaven or earth had any control over what was now taking place.
I had already determined what was to take place and I had condemned myself by my actions on earth. Now I had to live with the results of that which my life had wrought.
I stood before Him alone as every other Christian must stand. No one could speak out in my behalf, no man could help me. If I had wronged anyone, he couldn't even accuse me, for all was already re-corded. The Lord knew what had taken place, both how and why. He knew my heart, my mind, and my soul.
My bundle which had been large, melted before my eyes. The coating of gold that covered the stubble, which was my life, formed a small crown that fit into the palm of my hand. There were no jewels and no precious stones. Even the points of the crown were barely visible.
The opening of the crown that would normally go on the head was so small that none of my fingers could wear it as a ring. I was ashamed, yet I was a believer. I had made it to heaven and I did have eternal life. I had been tried but made it to Heaven as by fire.
All my life was wasted and my Christian walk a shambles, for I accomplished nothing. It was all for naught. Only what was done for Christ would last and all I had was a tiny crown that I could hold in my fist. A tiny crown.
Slowly I walked and placed it where all other rewards were placed, at the feet of my Lord. He had given His all for me. He had died for my sins. He had suffered and bled and faced the shame of crucifixion by mortals. This was all I had for Him.
I tried to look up into His face, but I couldn't, I couldn't.
I just knelt beneath Him with tears, my heart wailing in sorrow. This small crown was all I had for my Lord.
When I opened my eyes and they focused from the tears, the room was gone. The judgment was over. The throne was no more.
Instead, I saw myself asleep and I knew I had not yet died. I was still on earth and all this had been a dream. Not a bad dream, but a worthwhile glimpse of where I was headed.
I got it. I received a second chance. I received a chance to live my life as that precious woman had lived hers. I received a chance to yield myself to the Lord and live as He intended me to live. I could depend on Him, confess my sin to Him and have fellowship with Him daily. No...hourly...constantly. I could have fellowship constantly with my Lord and Saviour. I now had another chance to live my life perfect before Him, without spot, blameless, to sin not, as He said.
A new leaf...a second chance...and it was mine. I knew that all I had seen was true. I
knew that if I had died then or if the rapture came, my life would have that same end. I
knew now that Christians must beware of the judgment to come.
I awoke and found myself in a large room filled to capacity with people. We were waiting for something.
I knew what it was.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
I Corinthians 3:11-15.