Life is short. We know it all too well, it passes us by as quickly as the morning fog lifts off our favorite lake. Life is certainly just a vapor, it comes then it goes as fast as it arrived. I am in mid life, I turned 47 last week but am I really in mid life? Maybe mid life was 24 for me and I am finishing out my final days right now. We all know how fragile life is, we all know that we are not promised tomorrow yet we routinely live as though tomorrow is as certain as the rising sun. I truly believe that our son Jake was just as shocked as we all were when he died, he was only 22, making his midlife age a mere 11 years old. He had no clue, neither did we and neither did you.
I mowed at the school a little over two weeks ago. While I was mowing again yesterday I noticed all the dead clippings from the last cut as I mowed the living grass and many yellow flowers adding to the mulch. My mind then drifted to what Isaiah said, “A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is as grass, and all its beauty as the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord breathes on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:6-8 ESV) I probably added millions of blades of grass and flowers to the already dead blades and flowers from 2 weeks ago. As quickly as they grow they disappear, die and are forgotten.
In the weeks preceding Jacob’s death he spoke much about his hopes of the future. In fact the very night he died he shared with is grandpa and grandma about these things. Little did Jake know that in a few short hours he would enter his eternal home, his life, like the mown flower would fade and be cut off from the land of the living. He was added to the millions, yes even trillions that have went on before him. I took no thought to say goodbye when we last spoke, nether did he for how could either of us know that God would require his soul that very night?
Much good for the kingdom of God is wasted in the ignorance and foolishness of youth. I too was young, ignorant and a fool thinking that life will always go along as it has, forgetting God and living as though there was no God to give an account of my life to. While my kids were in their teens I wrote this verse out and put it on our refrigerator door, O how I hope Jacob took it to heart. “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1) The joy of youth always turns to the difficulties of getting old. Wise king Solomon calls the youth to remember their Creator God while life is early, when you are strong and you can enjoy him fully and serve him joyfully before the difficult days come your way. Where are the wise parents who are calling the youth to serve God and not their own pleasures?
We do not know when the silver cord that holds our life on this earth will be broken. A dear lady that I know died recently at 102, my cousins boy only lived 100 days- each of those two lives lived out the days that their Creator appoint for them. Like the grass, like the flowers, they die and fade away causing us to ask, “What lasts forever?” Isaiah said it, “The word of our God will stand forever.” The apostle John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1-3) Who is the Word, who was with God at creation, who made all things? Jesus- “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:13) All things visible have an expiration date, we do and the planet does also. Everything but the eternal words from our God will be burned up in the end. (2 Peter 3:10-11)
How does a fool live? He says to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat drink and be merry. But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul will be required of you, and the things you prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God.” I may never draw a dime from an IRA, or social security or my promised state retirement; this leaves me with the question what is truly wise investing and will I be wise or a fool? My life and your life have expiration dates and we do not know the day or the hour that has been written down for us. When we wither as the grass and fade as the flower let us be ready to meet our God. Be ready! He is coming at a time we least expect him.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away- Jesus
The things that we see are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal- Paul