Life is Short
Psalm 39:4-5 “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.” (NIV)
Psalm 39 is a psalm born of frustration and doubt by David in his God, when he looks about and sees a fallen world and wicked people in his presence. Unfortunately, for David and all of us, we find this world sin filled, imperfect, and unfair. This world is also not our home. It is a wise person who understands that we all are “just a passing through.” Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. In fact, Jesus says in John 10:10: “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Notice this word “may”, which means it is our choice on whether to accept and live the full life Christ has promised.
It is important for all of us to understand that the truly important things of our lives are those that deal with our spiritual nature and relationship with our God through Jesus Christ. The Christian above all else must be positive, optimistic, confident, and secure in his/her aspirations and direction for life. At the heart of this understanding is the recognition of our own frailty and our total dependence upon the sustaining hand of God in our lives. The truth is that none of us will get out of this world alive because we are only here for a set period of time to live fully before God and then return to him who made us. The writer of Hebrews makes the point conclusive when he states in Hebrews 9:27: “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…”
As the people of God, we must understand and accept the brevity of life, because it is the nature of how we have been made and the understanding of how we should conduct ourselves in this present world. This time in the world is by God’s design and is not forever, but it simply represents a preparation ground to train ourselves in the school of Christ to take on his character of mercy, love, and service. We are all strangers on this earth, and our only true home is with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
In our devotional text, David pauses to reflect on this reality of life’s brevity so that it might sink into him and into us that the real measuring rod and standard for life is not immediate fleshly gratification, but rather, a metamorphous of our character into that of Jesus Christ, so that all may see Christ in us. This understanding can never be achieved if we don’t acknowledge, accept, and apply the principles of the “pilgrim life” in our daily walk through this world. Always remember Jim Elliot’s (missionary to Ecuador) eloquent words: “He is no fool who give up what he cannot keep to obtain what he cannot lose.” I may not know you as you read these devotional thoughts, but one sweet day when the mist of this life’s reality recedes into the eternal day, I will meet you on the other side and we will say to one another that life in Christ has been worth it all! Thank God almighty that the Christ based life has been worth it all!
TODAY, MY FATHER, I WILL RECOGNIZE THAT I’M JUST A PASSING THROUGH AND I WILL ACCEPT MY MORTALITY TO ANCHOR MY THINKING AS I LIVE OUT THE LIFE OF CHRIST IN ME WITH HIS MERCY, LOVE, AND SERVICE. AMEN!
Mike White @ Summit church of Christ