Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. What is your life? For ye are a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (James 4:14).
Life is short and fragile. These are two of the most uncomfortable truths that human beings are forced to recognize. Even though modern technology has led to longer life expectancy, there is no guarantee that we will live for another moment. While most of us are likely to reach 65 and beyond, many will die as a result of illness, violence, or some other tragedy long before.
Some people try to hide from this reality. They try very hard not to think about death or the fact that they are going to die one day. They imagine that such things only happen to other people and will not happen to them. When tragedy strikes, they may not want to come to terms with it.
Others recognize this reality and become complacent. They develop an “eat, drink, and be merry” attitude (cf. Luke 12:19). Life is all about them and the enjoyment of pleasure. Life’s uncertainty does not cause them to stop for a moment to consider who they are and what they are doing.
While these reactions may be natural, they are not helpful. The uncertainty of life should not lead us into denial, fear, or complacency; instead, it should lead us to think about the blessings of life and the opportunity that life presents.
Since life is short, we should appreciate life for what it is: a gift from God. We are alive right now because of God’s providential care for our world (Genesis 1, 2 Peter 3:9). Since we may not be alive tomorrow, we should appreciate the blessings of each day and make the best of it (Ephesians 5:16).
The uncertainty of life is designed to direct us to the One who is certain, unchanging, and eternal: God (1 Timothy 1:17, Hebrews 13:8). We cannot trust in this life and/or its possessions, for they may be here today but not tomorrow (Matthew 6:19-21). We must also come to terms with the fact that everything we do in this life will be judged, and the fate of our future existence is based in that judgment (Acts 17:30, Romans 2:5-10). If we have proven to be obedient to God and His Son Jesus Christ, we will obtain eternal life; if we prove disobedient, we will obtain eternal condemnation (Revelation 20:15-22:6).
Therefore, we must consider how we are living. Are we making the best out of the blessing of life which God is giving us right now? Are we devoting ourselves to serving God by reflecting Jesus to everyone and in every relationship (Matthew 5:13-16, Ephesians 5:21-6:9)? If not, what do we think will happen to us in eternity?
Life is uncertain. We may have a few hours or many years left to our lives. If you were to die today, how would it go with your soul? Do you attempt to deny the reality of death, or get complacent in life? How will you then answer God for how you have used the time He has given you? Let us serve God so that we will not be ashamed on the day of Judgment (2 Timothy 2:15), and redeem the time we have today!