Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You Are a "Mist"

Did you know that the Bible calls you a "mist"...(well, among other things...)?

In the Book of James, we read, "Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes" (4:14, ESV). James is full of practical wisdom for "everyday living". In this section, James is reminding his readers of the brevity of life. He encourages us to keep the scope of our lives in a proper perspective. He is really addressing the common arrogance of the human spirit in its assumption that it has any sort of control of or guarantee for "tomorrow".

Today I will be participating in the funeral of my friend and neighbor. The Lord brought our paths together last year during an especially difficult time in her life when she was struggling with her health and just needed the help of others. God laid it on the hearts of many at New Beginnings to come alongside my neighbor to help her get back on her feet and as a result she began to attend our services. Phyllis, my neighbor, loved the Lord Jesus Christ and placed her faith in him for her own salvation and peace with God. Unexpectedly, last week Phyllis left this strange land for her true home in the presence of Almighty God. Paul spoke of the glorious promise that "to be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). In this same passage, Paul soberingly reminds us that, "...we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" (5:10).

It is always difficult and saddening to lose a friend--expected or unexpectedly--in death. However, in Christ, we know that death is not the final word. Because Christ died and was raised to life, we know that everyone who has trusted in him will too be raised (1 Cor. 15; 1 Thess. 4:14). But the reality of death also reminds us that we haven't yet arrived in our final place. There is something beyond this world. We are a "mist" which appears for a short time and then vanishes away. Yet, what we do during that "misty" period is tremendously important.

One of the effects that the Bible has upon me when I read it is this: It helps me appropriately understand my smallness--in the grand scheme of time and life--, and my significance--in the loving heart of my Creator. Reading the Bible is deeply humbling, at least for me. I, too, am simply a "mist". But this "mist" wants to make the most out of his time here on earth.

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