Some of us grew up in the Midwest. Perhaps some of you reading this now are still living there. I remember as a kid we always checked how cold it was outside by puffing a breath out into the air. If it was cold enough, we would say, it is cold enough out to see your breath. Occasionally, we can see our breath here in the mornings too. But I started thinking after a conversation this morning about just how fleeting that breath we can see really is. We read in James 4:14 these words, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
From our human perspective living 70, 80, or 90 years seems like a long time. And when we are kids' people that are old may only be 40! But in God's economy our years are like a mist...like the brief puff of air on a cold morning. Life is short, but eternity with God is just that, for eternity. Our time here is intended for us to develop a relationship with the Lord. Our time here is intended for us to share the Lord with as many people as we can. Eternity is a very long time and the thought of family and friends spending it apart from us, apart from God brings me to tears. Paul reminds of this in Romans 6:23. ”For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We who believe know that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us...that in His Father's house are many rooms. One has our name on it. We did not earn this place. We can never pay for it and we do not deserve it. But God so loved the world that He sent His Son. And His Son bought and paid for all our Sins...past, present, and future.
But here is something else to think about. Our time here is short. Our God has promised us peace unlike anything the world might give. Our God has lavished His love on us. We have received grace and mercy. In Jesus Christ we are becoming sanctified...we are becoming more and more like Jesus. And part of that process is learning to trust in the Lord. Jesus has always been, with the Father and the Spirit. He set the sun, moon, and stars in their place. He knows everything there is to know about us and still loves us. And...He knows what comes next. He holds today and every day in His hands. He knows the plans He has for us and He will not hurt us. That means we can trust Him to be in both the big and the small stuff. Our God is sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Once we can take this to heart it is much easier to look at the madness and challenges around us and rest in His presence. Once we take this to heart the peace He offers will make its way into our hearts. Try as we might, we are not in control. We do not see the complete picture and we do not know what comes next. But we do know the one who does. Life here is short but we will be around with the Lord forever. We have two choices. We can either be friends with the Lord on His terms or...we can be enemies with the Lord on our terms. And that is determined in this life that is like a mist on a cold morning. John Piper says this, ”Time is precious. We are fragile. Life is short. Eternity is long. Every minute counts. Oh, to be a faithful steward of the breath God has given me.” What we do in the Lord's name is not done in vain. Paul reminds us of this In Philippians 2:16, “In the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”
So often we get caught up in the world's thinking that if we are going to do something worthwhile, it must be a big thing. But giving someone who is thirsty a drink is a big thing...to the person who is thirsty. What we might think is not a big deal mighty well mean everything to someone else. Anytime we do something in Jesus name it is important. Life is short. We ae called to make the most of it. It isn’t always easy, but I don’t think it is intended to be. The best things are not easy but they are worthwhile.
What will you do with the time you have left in this short life?
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W