One of my favorite spiritual songs is called “As the Life of a Flower.” The first verse of the song goes like this:
As the life of a flower,
As a breath or a sigh,
So the years that we live
As a dream hasten by.
True, today we are here,
But tomorrow must leave
Just a grave in the vale
And a memory of me.
Once, after I had led that song, someone said to me, “That song about the flower is kind of morbid!” Admittedly, it is hard for each of us to imagine the world without us, and so it is tempting for us never to think about the fact that ours is not the only generation. However, the Bible emphasizes repeatedly that the child of God simply must take into account his own mortality and thereby live in view of death. This is not to be morbid, but merely to recognize that life is a finite opportunity to serve God. Consider the following passages:
Job spoke about his own mortality: “ Remember that my life is a breath; my eye will never again see good. The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more; while your eyes are on me, I shall be gone. As the cloud fades and vanishes, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up; he returns no more to his house, nor does his place know him anymore” (Job 7:7-10).
Zophar similarly said of man’s condition: “His bones are full of his youthful vigor, but it will lie down with him in the dust” (Job 20:11).
About the children of Israel, the psalmist says that God “remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again” (Psalms 78:39). The psalmist says about God’s perspective of all people: “[H]e knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more” (Psalms 103:14-16).
In the New Testament, James comments on the brevity of life: “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
What would you do today if you fully took into account the brevity of your life? Would you study the Bible more? Would you obey the Gospel? Would you focus less on material things? Would you start spending more time teaching your children or grandchildren about God? Would you be restored to faithfulness? Would you start attending Bible class at Macland Road? Whatever righteous changes you would make, start making them today.