I wonder how many people have heard the words, "Just in case ..."?

"Just in case I don't make it ..." or "Just in case something happens to me ..." The words may vary, but the intent is always the same. The person saying these words usually follows them up with, "promise me that ..." or "do this ..." or sometimes it is "tell them this for me."

Normally when you hear those words, it's a sign that the speaker believes that the end of his or her life is near. They believe that they have some unfinished things which need to be finished. Sometimes the concern wasn't really necessary, but then sometimes it was good that they planned ahead.

All of those "just in case" thoughts are important, but through my many years of hearing those words, most are only temporary emotional pleas. On occasion, however, I have had the pleasure of knowing someone who understands that her or his final message may be something that can help those she or he loves to better cope and carry on after death comes.

Recently, a dear friend and encourager, Jeanne Robinson, passed away. Several weeks before she died, Jeanne told me, "Russ, just in case something happens to me, I want you to tell my family a couple of things for me."

She then proceeded to share some things which she felt were important to encourage those she would leave behind. She wanted them to be able to carry on with their lives when she was no longer by their sides. Important things? They were important to her and it was a privilege for her to feel she could trust me to share her "just in case" words.

A few days passed and I returned to the hospital. The nurses told me I had arrived about thirty minutes too late for a final visit with Jeanne. She had health problems the doctors just could not overcome. She struggled heroically for 9 weeks, but in the end, her body was just too weak to overcome the latest of so many problems. Her "just in case" words had become a reality.

On my drive home that day, I thought about Jeanne's "just in case" words — words of love and words of encouragement for her special loved ones to carry on.

Jesus, our perfect example, had some "just in case" words — only he had no question as to whether he would die or not. He knew when and how his death would come, so he tried to prepare those he loved to go on without him by their side.

Jesus said, "Don't be troubled, you trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am." (John 14:1-3)

So, do you have any last words?
So, do you have any last words?

Anything that you would like to say before you no longer have the ability here on this earth?

The writer of Hebrews reminds us, "It is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) Someone once said, "The statistics are easily proven — 'one out of one' dies!'"

So what are your "just in case ..." words? What are your "perhaps if ..." actions? Maybe there are some things you need to get straightened out between you and God before it's too late. Maybe there is a special message you really want to leave with your family ... "just in case"!

Thanks for the final lesson Jeanne, I needed to be reminded!