Proverbs 27:1 – Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
If there is one message that God is speaking to our world today it is that we have no guarantees of what our lives will be from one day to the next. We have been humbled. Our plans have been set aside. Things we thought we would never give up are gone. We now know, in no uncertain terms, that we literally have no control over our lives.
For me, it has been a good lesson than when and if things return to “normal” I do not want to procrastinate or put off anything. One of my goals the past couple of years was to spend more time getting to know my neighbors. We live in a wonderful community with some really special people we’ve grown to love. I had plans to invite them into our home more often, more intentionally. When our lives got busy and a month or two passed without planning a dinner, I would tell myself, “next month” or “next week” we’ll get to it.
I had intentions this year to spend a little more time with my parents. They live 30 minutes away, which doesn’t sound like much, but a visit usually requires setting aside at least half a day. When two or three weeks went by, it was easy to say, “I’ll go next week.”
These are just two things that haven’t gone as planned. Being restricted to home has reinforced what I’ve known all along – we have no guarantees of tomorrow!
This topic – the brevity of our lives – is one the Bible talks about a lot. When we’re born, our days are ordained by God (Psalm 139:16). We can’t see the future. We can’t build a life that assumes a long life. We can’t plan for tomorrow with any certainty; in fact, we don’t know what life holds for us in the next hour. Last year we had a dear neighbor get up in the morning and have his breakfast as usual. By 9:00 a.m. he was in the presence of the Lord, having suffered a heart attack. He died in his kitchen floor.
We only have this moment.
James 4:13-16 – Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.
Psalm 39:4-5 – Lord, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in your sight; surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.
Psalm 144:4 – Man is like a mere breath; his days are like a passing shadow.
Psalm 103:15-16 – As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer.
Job 14:1-2,5 – Man, who is born of woman is short-lived and full of turmoil. Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain. Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; and his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.
Should this make us fearful? Paranoid? Afraid to live?
As one who has placed my faith in Christ, I have the promise of eternal life when this life is over. I do not fear death, but I do respect it. I have been given a certain number of days to steward for my Lord and Master, Jesus. I will not be called to account for my failures (my sin), but I will be accountable for my faithfulness and what I did with this gift of life.
Knowing I could have no assurance of what tomorrow will bring should make me want to live more intentionally today.
It should cause me to treasure the moments with the people I love.
It should motivate me to say the things that need to be said and discard the words I may never have a chance to apologize for.
It should create a sense of urgency to share the gospel with those I love deeply and am burdened for their eternal destiny.
It should discourage me from procrastinating.
It should cause me to focus on what is most important and leave the unimportant for later.
It should encourage me to find out what God expects of me and get busy with it. There will be a test.
Ephesians 5:15-16 – Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
1 Peter 1:17 – If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth.
What decisions have you put off, thinking you will have more time?
What relationships do you need to repair?
What do you need to discuss with your Creator before you meet Him face to face?
God has allowed this virus to interrupt our lives for a reason. He has offered us an opportunity for a “re-set” and given us the gift of time. Let’s not waste it or miss the implications.