The last decade or so the term “bucket list” has become a buzz phrase. People use this to describe the things they hope to do before they die. So often it involves thrill-seeker activities like jumping out of an airplane (with a parachute) or extravagant trips like going to Europe.
But I wonder if each of us asked God what He has on our bucket list? The things He hopes we will do before we leave this Earth?
Things like forgiveness, healing, redemption, surrender, growth, maturity, and ministry.
Somehow I just don’t see any of the disciples sitting around the banquet table in Heaven saying, “Wow, I really wish I could have tried my hand at chariot racing,” or “I was really hoping I would have the chance to visit that beach resort off the coast of Crete.”
Wonder why that is?
How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. —Hebrews 11:32-40 NLT