Psalms 39:4-7 – “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. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” (NIV 1984)
My Musings – An old year is fully spent and a new year has barely begun. Traditionally, a time of reflection on what has transpired in the past and what the future might hold. I do not recall when I began to think of time as fleeting. When I was younger, I rarely had such thoughts. But now I am at that age, where my own father has passed and my youngest son is beginning to have his own thoughts on “where time goes.” Maybe I began having those thoughts when my oldest son died before reaching his tenth birthday, and I had my first real taste of how fragile life on this earth really is. And, as the Apostle Paul said, “if only for this life we have hope…we are to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:9, NIV 1978).”
But our hope is not only for this life. It is for forever. For elsewhere Paul wrote, “brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, NIV 1984).” And what an encouragement it is.
My Advice – Do not “grieve like the rest of men” who see their lives as slipping away, with no hope beyond the grave. Because our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ who conquered the grave for us. Rather grieve for those who do not have such hope, and pray that they may find that hope by trusting in Christ before it is too late.