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The Brevity of Life

Life Lesson 28: I am keenly aware that my times are in the Lord’s hands. My life is not my own. I am here for a little while and then I will be no more. With that in view, how then should I spend my time? This temporary journey called life is a reminder to me that I need to get busy doing the Lord’s work because I do not know when I will be called home.

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” —James 4:14

James 4:14 is a sobering reminder of how fleeting life can be. One moment we are here and the next, we are gone. When I was a little girl, around six years old, I had a dear friend by the name of Esther. We would often play in the schoolyard together during breaktime. I would always look forward to spending time with my friend. One day when I arrived at school, I noticed she was not sitting in her usual spot in the classroom. I thought she might have been running late that day until our teacher announced she had passed away the night before. It was inconceivable to the mind of a six-year-old that her friend had died. After all, only the day before, we were chatting, laughing, and playing. How could it be that I would never see her again? It did not make any sense to me. She seemed so healthy and happy. What happened, and why? For years, I struggled with this question, and although I may never know the answer on this side of heaven, one thing is for sure, life is short, and we all have the same fate—death.

This topic may seem a bit morbid for some, and I can certainly understand that. We all look at death and life differently. The more time I spend reading the Bible, the more aware I become of my human frailty. Scripture reminds us that: “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:24-25).

If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that life is indeed very short. No one knows when the end will come. Every day, I am humbled and thankful for every breath God gives me because I know that someday will be my last. I will be the first to tell you that I am looking forward to a very long and healthy life with my husband, family, and friends. I am most certainly not ready, but I am prepared because I am reminded that the Eternal God is the one who breathes life into me. It is He who sustains me. It is He who determines my last day on earth. In Psalm 139:13-16, we are told:

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

God is in control of my life. Every single moment of my life is before Him. He knew when I was born, and He knows exactly when my last day will be. That thought is both humbling and encouraging; humbling because my times are in His hands (Psalm 90:12) and encouraging because I get to spend eternity with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (John 14:3).

Have you given any thought to where you will go when you die? If you are not a follower of Christ, your destination is in jeopardy. My friend, please do not wait any longer. Time is not on your side, God is! Why don’t you turn your heart over to Him? He is waiting to welcome you into eternity (1 John 5:11-13). In Romans 6:23 we are told, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Remember, sin separates us from God (Romans 3:23-24) who is the Creator and Sustainer of life. When we repent of our sins and choose to follow Christ, we are saved from spiritual death, and we receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ (1 John 5:1, 13).

The most well-known and arguably one of the most important verses in the Bible is John 3:16, which tells us, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” This Scripture gives us the amazing hope of God’s glorious love for humanity and His plan to save us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This assurance inspires my faith and trust in the Eternal God. Do not take for granted the time you have right now to accept Christ as Lord of your life because none of us knows our last. May John 3:16 encourages you today to take that very important step of faith and surrender your life to Christ before it is too late.

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” –Psalm 39:4-5

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