Have you heard about the two golfers who really loved golf? While watching the Masters on TV, one said to the other, “Do you think there will be golf in heaven?”
Suddenly an angel appeared to them and said, “I’ve got good news and bad news for you both.”
“What’s the good news? They asked.
“There is golf in heaven…on the most glorious courses you could imagine!” The angel announced.
“So, what’s the bad news?” they questioned.
“Your tee time is 8:10 tomorrow morning!”
In today’s Bible reading, Psalm 39, David asks the Lord to…
…Show me my life’s end.
…Measure my days.
…Let me know how frail I am.
…Remind me life is only a vapor.
…See life as a mere fleeting shadow.
While maybe more somber than we prefer for our daily devotional, it’s good to reflect on how fleeting life is. An angel is not going to appear to reveal our “tee-time.” But there are plenty of ways the Lord reminds us.
#1 The Bible reveals that our days on earth are limited.
The Psalmist often speaks of life’s brevity. In Psalm 90:10 he writes:
The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
For those of us over 70 that hits home pretty hard. But it’s true.
The Hebrew writer reminds us “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:2).
“What is your life?” James asks. “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes,” is the stark reality (Jas. 4:14).
#2 Observation tells us that we will one day die.
In recent years, I’ve learned of both High School and College classmates who’ve died. People my age. And younger. Additionally, news reports remind us of those who have died. Some of old age. Some in accident. And others through unexpected tragic events. The numbers of those who’ve died from COVID-19 also are a grim reminder that there is no guarantee of tomorrow.
#3 Our own personal experiences speak to life’s brevity.
As we age, our bodies are a living testimony that we’re not young anymore. Various physical limitations and ailments affect us. I once inquired of an orthopedic doctor why I was experiencing back pain. His curt reply was, “You’re not 16 anymore.” Thanks, Doc.
Additionally, we’ve all stood by the grave side of loved ones. A mother. Father. Brother. Sister. Fellow Christian. We’ve seen death up close. Too close for our comfort. I’m reminded of my Mom’s often spoken words in the final years of her life, “You know, we weren’t put on this earth to live forever.”
The fleeting nature of life ought to motivate us as it did David, who penned, “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”
Our hope lies beyond this life. Beyond its struggles. Sorrows. Scrapes. And strife.
The fleeting nature of earth life reminds us that there is more than “the life that now is,” but there is God’s assurance of a “life that is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). Eternal life. Heavenly life. Ageless, unending, imperishable life with the Lord.
Life on earth is fleeting.
Are you preparing for life beyond the grave?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman