The realization that life is short has continued to come to my attention the last couple of years. Our “baby” is now running around our house and is much larger than he was two years ago; while I’m not ancient at the age of 30, my body reminds me that I’m not 16 anymore when I play a game of basketball or realize how sore I am after raking leaves; I’m not the young college kid on our staff anymore – I’m the one leading those guys. These are just a few examples that remind me how quickly life moves.
James puts it this way: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (4:14).
King David says that “for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it ant it is gone, and its place remembers it no more” (Psalm 103:15-16).
But the good news is that this is not the end! In the same Psalm, David writes, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us…from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him” (Psalm 103:12 & 17).
“He” in this passage refers to Jesus who promises eternal life to whoever believes in Him. What great news!
Yes, life is short. I was rudely awakened to this fact as an adolescent when 10 people I knew died during my sophomore and junior years of high school. I continue to be reminded of it as I mention above. Yet, I experience joy and peace in the Lord knowing that his perfect love is with me from “everlasting to everlasting.”
I can’t slow life down. It is a vanishing mist. But I can have joy with the time I’ve been given here and look forward to the forever time I’ll spend with Him after this life. I can also do my best to remain in Christ (and bear fruit that will last) in an effort to not waste the short life I’ve been given.
While we may want to avoid the thought of life being compared to a “vapor,” I think we need to pause and reflect in light of this truth we see from James and David.