Has God been reminding you of the transience of life?
I am appreciating more the precious time with my children after my two-year-old daughter swallowed a lithium battery this weekend. I began searching the internet like any good parent, “What to do if your child swallows a button lithium battery?” The results were not comforting. We eventually had to go to Riley Children’s Hospital, and I am so thankful the Lord helped the doctors to successfully remove the battery.
As I was driving down to the hospital with my daughter, I started thinking of God’s word to Isaiah.
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:6-8)
My life quickly went from regular bath time and bedtime routine to emergency. God’s gifts of my children, that I so regularly enjoy, I worried I would lose. So, I prayed a lot on the car ride. Then I looked at my daughter and poured out my soul to her. I told my two-year-old how much I loved her and how sweet she was in so many special ways. (About an hour before I was frustrated by how much lotion she grabbed after bath time.)
When I bore my heart to her because I thought about the possibility that this may be our last car ride together, she responded, “I can’t hear it. Volume up!” So, I turned up the volume for the song and continued to drive.
As I was praying to God, Psalm 8 popped into my mind.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4)
How amazing is our God that he would give so much care and thought for us to entrust such wonderful wonders of creation like children into our care? However long we have children in this world, they are wonderful gifts to this earth by our loving Father.
Praise the Lord for His Creative Works
In the face of suffering and death, it is easy to dwell on the frailty and frustrations of this created world that is ravaged by the effects of sin. God wants us to praise the Lord for such wonderful good gifts, even when many of these gifts are here today to enjoy and gone tomorrow, bringing sorrow and grief in the wake of their absence.
As we experience the fear or reality of loss, it is a reminder of a great God who first gave a good gift to us because of his love and care for us. We must remember like what God says in the book of James,
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17
Stop and consider all the things that we fear and worry about losing or not having again and commit to praise the Lord for that good gift he provided for us. This is what God instructs us to do in Psalm 104, to spend time praising the Lord for all the wonderful works of the Lord.
O Lord, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions. (Psalm 104:24)
Do you fear losing your job or not being able to work?
Stop and praise the Lord for all the good gifts that the Lord provided in giving you a job and the blessing of work. Praise him for the mind he gave you. Praise him for the physical body he gave you and how he sustains your health. Praise him for the teachers he provided to instruct you in your skills. Praise him for how he has allowed you to provide for your family and others through your work. Praise him for the ways that your work represents and images God in creating a product or providing a service that flourishes the lives of others.
Do you fear losing a loved one?
Stop and praise the Lord for providing the gift of that person’s life to you. Praise him for the ways he has sustained you both through the relationship. Praise him for arranging the intricacies of your lives together. Praise him for the ways you have seen him work to grow you both over time.
Allow Temporary Joys to Help You Long for Eternal Joys
After we stop and enjoy the current gifts the Lord has given that are not enduring, let us praise the Lord and pray that he would make all these wonderful gifts we enjoy permanent.
Let the glory of the Lord endure forever;
Let the Lord be glad in His works;
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
Let my meditation be pleasing to Him;
As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord. (Psalm 104:31, 33-34)
Let us pray, asking God to make these wonderful creations showing his splendor endure forever for us to enjoy with Christ. We can trust Christ, who is our enduring Word (John 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:20; Heb. 1:1-3), who will make all these temporary things new eternal things (Rev. 21:5).