James 4:14 WEB "... you don't know what your life will be like tomorrow. For what is your life? For you are a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away."
As morbid as I realize this may sound, I have been thinking about death a lot lately. I have thought about death many times over this past year - since my daddy died.
I used to get fearful at the thought of death. Even though I believe that Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth, is the promised messiah of the Jews and Gentiles, and even though I believe that I am going to be with Him when I die, when I thought of death I could picture nothing but darkness and uncertainty. Not anymore!
I have pondered the above scriptures many times since coming to Jesus and especially since death has passed by so close to me this year. I have wondered many times how God could see death as precious or beautiful. In my mind it was an ending and nothing to be happy about or hold so dear. I love God, try my hardest to follow Him, but I just couldn't understand why He would see the end of our lives as precious.
And life a vapor? Me a vapor? What does that even mean? Logically I am educated enough to know that the scripture is a comparison of life on earth to life in eternity, but somehow I still can't get my head around it. When I think about the average life span compared to a never-ending eternity ... well ... I'm sure we weren't meant to fathom it.
But I had this thought the other day ...
As long as some of us live on this earth, it is only a short existence in time compared to eternity - the place where time does not exist. We think of eternity as an expansion of time, but eternity is anything but. I submit that eternity is a place where our spirits once began with God our creator and a place from which He blows us, by His breath of life, into the wombs of our mothers. If we are in Christ, we exist there still. (Eph. 2:6) And if we remain in Christ, we will return there again.
If you have lost someone close to you - someone who you love so deeply that the thought of being without them overwhelms you with anxiety and sadness - then how do you think God feels every passing moment we are still here on this earth? And even though I have had this thought before, it finally sank into my spirit that death is not an end but a continuation. It is not a beginning because we were already there with Him once. For the saints of God, death is but a homecoming!
Every moment we are on this planet we are separated from God by the realm of the physical. I heard it said once that "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. Rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience." Death is but a doorway to our true self and form - to know and see ourselves in truth as He has known and seen us all along. (I Cor. 13:6)
So now I can understand how God would be happy when these bodies that physically separate us from Him are finally removed. Oh the joy that must have flooded the soul of my daddy and the heart of my God when they were finally reunited. And oh the peace that I cannot explain when I think of death now. To know that this physical form that you all know and see me as will one day pass away and the truth of who I am will be revealed by that marvelous light that is Christ Jesus! (John 1:4-9/I Peter 2:9) And the peace that I have in knowing that my precious daddy is already experiencing that? I marvel in the glories and wonders of my mysterious God!
For my daddy, his body was a cage that limited him. He has been set free! He could never run on this earth. He ran to the arms of God. He always wished he could get on his knees to pray, but his legs limited him. He is bowing before the throne of God! How beautiful his true self must be! And I'm going to get to see that when I pass on. I am going to get to see what my daddy truly looked like - as God always saw him. A year ago today, I heard the weak and feeble voice of my daddy speak for the last time. But when I enter eternity I will hear the strength of his true voice worship our Father forevermore!
Death, for the children of God, is no accident. Whether they pass on by car wreck, cancer, COPD, a violent act, etc., - and no matter their age - their deaths are not untimely. That is not to say that God caused their illness or trauma (that is a whole other blog), but God uses the circumstances of our lives to bring us closer to Him, be it earthly or eternally. (Rom. 8:28)
One last thought: The unfortunate flip-side to this quickly evaporating life, is that though for the Christian it is a brief separation from God, for the unbeliever it is a door of opportunity that is quickly closing. If God so longs to be with us who are still here - if He holds our deaths so precious - then how grieved He must be and how His heart must ache for each soul who passes from this earth into eternal separation from Him?
Brothers and sisters, I know your hurt and your longing for your loved ones, but remember we will see them again - AND SOON! But let's not forget there are generations of souls slipping into the fires of eternal damnation every day. Though we grieve, let's not forget those who God is now separated from in every way. Let us not be weak in well-doing (Gal. 6:9), for this hope that is ours was meant for all!
Holy Father, even in our grief please remind us of the race we are running (2 Tim. 4:7). Forgive us when we are selfish and forgive our self-pity. Give us strength to pick ourselves up and carry on for your sake, and for the sake of bringing your kingdom down to this earth. Let world revival be at the fore-front of our hearts and minds. Help us Lord, in our own struggle to die daily so that you may live through us and so that we might be used to snatch thousands from the fires of hell! May this prayer be sealed by the name of Christ our redeemer and soon coming King, and may it burn in our hearts the rest of our days - however many that may be! Amen!
I could go on, but for what little I have shared I pray you were blessed, my friends!