PSALM 39:4 – “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!
THEME OF THE DAY. THE TWO REALITIES IN LIFE. I am writing this the day after a grueling thirteen-hour drive in heavy traffic. We were returning from the funeral of my wife’s father and making a short stop to see my aging father. When one encounters stop and go traffic with the “go” being top end about fifteen miles an hour for nearly the entire state of Connecticut, there is a lot of time to think and that about a lot of things. I had just spent five days surrounded by two of the stark realities of life we each know well but probably don’t think about enough. We should. If we do, we will gain the proper perspective to live the one life the Lord has given us. The two realities of life are the certainty of death and how fast life goes by. And when it comes to learning theses all-important lessons about life, there is one place to go. A cemetery.
Every Christian should take regular walks through a cemetery. It is one of the wisest places to go to receive two of the most important lessons on life. If we listen to the “teachers” in observing the various graves, we will be struck with two realities – the certainty of death and the brevity of life. If heeded, such lessons will do two things in our lives.
First, confronted with the certainty of death will go a long way in helping us overcome worry, anxiety, and stress in our lives. Think about it. Compare all the things which keep us awake at night, create “pits in our stomachs”, and distract us almost non-stop with death. Now I am not being morbid but attempting to get us to see “big picture” when it comes to living life in a dying world. Everything and everyone is racing to death. Nothing remains the same, and nothing or no one is getting better. Just look at ourselves in a mirror, on a scale, or attempting to do physical things that not-too-long ago were done without much effort. Here is a personal illustration. I used to be able to drive thirteen hours straight with no problem, no “bad” results. Today, the day after, I am drained, stiff, and need a vacation. And if you are young, go ahead and deny it, but please give me a call and say, “You were right” when life’s pace wears on you. Friends, let’s learn to keep life and all its problems in perspective. They will pass. Like our lives and quickly. Let the certainty of death become a “de-stressor” in life.
Another lesson from a cemetery will be the brevity of our lives. At times, it may not seem like it, but attend a funeral and read head markers in a graveyard. As we do, the Lord will answer today’s scriptural prayer. He will show us how fleeting our lives are in this dying world. And when we get this lesson, it should propel us to live daily building a rich spiritual legacy of living for Jesus that we leave behind when we go to the grave.
The certainty of death and the brevity of life. These are Biblical realities we each are confronted with. May the Lord help us to see them as effective truths to shape a Christ-centered life in a dying world.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to see beyond the seen to eternal realities that my life is short, and death will come.”
QUOTE: “It may not appear that God is in control of everything in this world, but faith knows it is true.”