The brevity of life
6 All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. – Isaiah 40:6-8
15 Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone– as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him.
“No faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs through adversity. Tested faith brings experience. You would never have believed your own weakness had you not needed to pass through trials. And you would never have known God’s strength had His strength not been needed to carry you through” – (Spurgeon).
Each person is born with a built-in expiration date for their time on earth. None of us know when that is. But passing off this mortal coil is a certainty. Through the years we encounter constant reminders of the brevity of life. As we grow older, we lose friends and family. Things around us change. We ourselves change.
Such insights often stimulate reflection. Frequently we ask the big questions. What is constant and certain? What really matters? What lasts? Many of us reevaluate our priorities.
The love of the Father for His children never changes. It is constant. It is certain. He can always be trusted. With confidence and certain expectation, we know we can always depend on our unchanging Father. A relationship with Him is the source of great joy and fulfillment.
There are only two things on the planet Earth which are eternal: the human soul and the word of God.
REFLECT & PRAY
Life is brief. When we are young, we think we will live forever, but when we are all old we know better.
Father thank You that you treat me with understanding and compassion. Encourage me to immerse myself in Your eternal goodness and loyal love.
It is sobering to realize that life passes by all too quickly. David never gives into despondency or resignation. Instead, he is joyful and expectant. Is David in denial? Absolutely not. He is learned through his walk with the Father to take the high road. The view from above provides the foundation of David’s outlook and overwhelming joy.
What does David see? He recognizes and understands the stark contrast between the Father’s everlasting goodness and loyal love and human evanescent transience and vulnerability. How does the Father respond to human frailty and weakness? He is well aware of our fragility and propensity for failure. He is the One who formed us from dust. As dust, a more pleasant and an acceptable word for dirt, we are very short-lived like flowers and grass which dries up, blows away without leaving a trace.
The Father’s intimate knowledge of people evokes a kind and gentle response. Our weakness appeals to the Father’s compassion (Expositors). The Father responds to us with pity. He knows what we are, that we are frail and needy.
Psalms 103:13 The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate
David sees as the Father sees. Rather than the brevity of life causing despair or dread, David worships the Father and sings praises of joy. David does not focus on human limitation. Rather he immerses himself in the truth and reality of the Father’s eternal goodness and loyal love. David echoes his intimate relationship with the Father and the Father’s loyal love for him.
Too often we forget what God remembers – that we are dust (MacDonald). Joy, contentment, and happiness are a choice. Each of us has been given that choice. Over time, and learning from his many mistakes, David has discovered how to make the right choice.
“As it turns out, most grumpy old people used to be grumpy young people. Aging doesn’t turn a cheerful person into a grouch. To the contrary, research has shown that, as we age, we become more emotionally stable and content” (Laura Carstensen).