“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” -Psalm 90:12
As I waltzed into Cafe Brazil this morning asking for a table for three, I was giddy with anticipation about the 1 John Bible study about to take place. After my first sip of my beloved bottomless cup of coffee, I realized our 1 John study brunch was, in fact, not going to take place this morning.
Thanks to a giant miscommunication, I found myself sitting at an empty table with three menus and a cup of coffee I wanted to get my money’s worth out of. Instead of sheepishly asking for a check and leaving, I pulled out my Bible and dove into Psalm 90.
Have you ever taken the time to ponder how brief our life is? When we experience the passing of someone near to us, it always seems to serve as a reminder that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, but that is not what I am talking about. Have you thought seriously about the progression of our lifetime?
“For you (God), a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. They are like grass that springs up in the morning. In the morning it blooms and flourishes, but by evening it is dry and withered.” (vs. 4-6)
Granted, when someone we know dies, we remember we know not the number of our days. But Scripture says, “Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble” (vs. 10).
When I read that, all I could think about was my life and the lives of my peers. At 21 years of age, many would say I am in the midst of the best years of my life. Why is it, then, that so many of us young adults are drowning in our addictions to alcohol, drugs, sex, pride, envy, greed, lust, lies, status, accomplishments, possessions, anger, depression, selfishness, and all else apart from Christ?
Verse eight says, “You (God) spread out our sins before you – our secret sins – and you see them all.”
When I think about it that way, it is easy to see why the psalmist wrote that even the best years of our lives are filled with trouble and pain. With life seemingly hinging on the decisions we make in these “glory days”, it is easy to lose sight of seeking first the Kingdom of God, and instead seek first the Kingdom of self.
I believe if we are truly honest with ourself, we will be unable to ignore the self-gratification that permeates our each and every day. Why is that? Because we are a fallen people living in a world filled with billions who have ALL fallen short of the glory of God.
I never understood fully why I cannot just “go and sin no more”. Christ saved me. In Him we are more than conquerers. He has given me victory over sin and death, so why, then, do I fall prey to temptations time and time again?
By no means do I think I will ever come to a complete understanding of this dilemma, but this I do know: I still live to worship God in my flesh as I live in a world ruled by the enemy. Until I see Jesus face-to-face, perfection will never be achieved in me, but it will be desired.
As I finished my second cup of coffee at Cafe Brazil, I realized I have been desiring to please God by my own strength and discipline. No wonder I fail! And no wonder I feel ashamed when I do!
If I desire to live out 1 John 2:6, which says, “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did”, then I must call on God the Father, fall into Jesus the Son, and rely on the Holy Spirit to do so!
I realize this may come across as supremely basic, but lately I have noticed the deepest truths God is instilling in me are the bare basics of faith.
Verse two says, “Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.”
The Lord alone holds all power, wisdom, and honor.
“Who can comprehend the power of your anger? Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.” (vs. 11)
But even in the face of the fierce storm of God’s fury, the first verse says, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!”
May God be my home in the morning and in the evening. I know I am prone to flourish in the morning, wither in the evening, and live the best years of my life in pain – but I ask, from the depths of my soul and in genuine humility, that God will lead me on a different path.
I pray verse 14 unto the Lord, “Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.”
Whether God gives me fifty more years to breathe, or just enough breath for today – I long for my life to sing the sweetest notes unto my Heavenly Father and into the world.
As I feel myself falling in love with my King more with each step of this wild journey of faith, to Him be the glory both now and forevermore.