“O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.”(Psalms 39:4-7 ESV)
Have you noticed that all things in life, whether good or bad, are temporary? Good times with friends, happiness from success, riches, and glory are all short-lived; in the same way, pain, suffering, failure, sadness, hardships, etc., are also impermanent. It shows that our true life is not meant for this timeline alone; there has to be an authentic and genuine life of permanent joy and fulfilment beyond the short life we all live. So, what are you living for? We can be so busy with what we do at the moment, but are they worthy of our time and efforts?
So How Do We Live Our Lives Knowing All Things Are Passing Away?
- Have a long term vision for your life. What are you essentially living for? Is it only for this temporal life, or is it something beyond? Would the things that you do daily matter in the long-term or even eternally?
- Do not let anything in this world captivate your heart, mind and life. Good things like good relationships, belongings, successes, rewards, etc., can make us attached to this life we are quickly passing through. Remember that we are only short term sojourners on earth, not permanent residents. Live a life detached from this world and be attached only to the Lord. Let your life be in total freedom to love God maximally.
- Make good use of your resources in life. We are not to accumulate wealth only to leave them behind. We want to be rich in God’s eyes, not our own or even others’ eyes. Be generous and purposeful in using your resources for the glory of God. Build your eternal riches, not earthly ones. See Luke 12:13-21.
- Live in freedom from anger, resentment or grudges. Let the Lord form your self-esteem if you have little now or while you were growing up. Your primary identity should come from God, who loves you dearly regardless of your past. You are God’s precious child, valuable enough for God the Son to die for you. Let God’s opinion of you matter the most and everyone else’s, very little.
- Live your life well, fulfilling well the roles God has given you. Thrive well where God has planted you. Serve the Lord and glorify Him with the talents and resources you have. Let God’s will be done in your life.
- Be zealous for others to know the Lord. They, too, live temporary lives. The best thing we can ever give to a dear friend is something lasting: a living relationship with God. “Best friends forever” are eternal.
- Eagerly await your eternal destiny, where you will see God face to face. In heaven, all these temporal things will fade away, including all pains and sorrows. Anticipate and dream about your eternal inheritance.
“Let nothing disturb you; nothing frighten you. All things are passing; God is unchanging. Patience obtains all things; nothing is lacking to those who have God: God alone is sufficient.”Teresa of Avila
Other Scripture passages:
- Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 ESV)
- …But the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Mark 4:19 ESV)
- But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV)
- Other Scripture verses: Psalm 103:15-18; 2 Peter 3:10-12; and Colossians 3:1-4.
For personal reflection or group sharing
- Imagine you are in the final stages of your life, and you look back at this point now – what would you have done or decided differently?
- What about your relationships now – what can you do better?
Top image credit: beautiful sunset Baltic sea, from Bigstock.com, Copyright © by weera Prongsiri, stock photo ID: 302833123
Tom Caballes is a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with seven branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters [with his son-in-law and grand-daughter] live in Wellington, New Zealand.