The Brevity of Life

I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.”

But as I stood there in silence—not even speaking of good things—the turmoil within me grew worse.

The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words: “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is.

You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.

Psalm 39:1-7 NLT

I love these verses. Over the past few months I’ve been going through a transition of sorts in some areas of life. During this time there’s been a lot that I just don’t — and can’t — understand. To put it simply, I think in a lot of areas I’ve tried complicating things. And, I think it’s normal to some extent. But I want to get back to some of the basics… what is going to really matter tomorrow? Is it that fancy thing over there or is it sharing Christ and just being a witness over here now.

I want to remember that life is short. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Everything matters — but is it for a purpose. Does it mean something in the glimpse of eternity?


“If you meet a person who cannot get over your past, you meet a person that doesn’t understand the love of Jesus Christ.”

That’s a powerful statement.

Over the past few years, I’ve been in situations that, if I were honest, have in some ways skewed my view of God. It wasn’t intentional — the people involved didn’t mean for it to happen the way it did and I didn’t look at the situations as being something that would shape my view of Him. It just happened. Lots of things can cause this in life: things don’t turn out the way we think they should, people say things that are incorrect but we take them to heart, the list could go on and on. The quote I lead this post with is from a teaching series I’ve recently listened to on dating (side note: I was actually opposed to listening to it but glad I listened, as I discovered a lot of truth outside of dating) but it’s completely valid outside the dating scope. None are perfect, all have fallen short of the glory of God. I think that quote can be read quickly, liked my many, and never taken to heart.

I’ve heard it said that we always want to receive grace (from God, friends, family, etc) but we’re pretty reluctant to give grace. I’m noticing that a lot of the times my lack of certain gifts of the Spirit (like love, joy, peace, and patience) really has a lot to do with grace. I’m not going to really develop that further other than to say that we’re called to be examples of Christ (Christ-like), showing his heart for people. When we’re not walking in the Spirit, it shapes other’s view of who God is. Even those who have a strong walk, and especially if they aren’t plugged into life-giving people can be affected.

The Edge of a Fog

A few weeks ago, I started reading The Pilgrim’s Progress in my spare time.  The book has been an very enjoyable read, and I honestly think it’s a book that every new believer should spend time reading or listening to.  There’s been a lot that I wanted to talk about in the book, and I was about to start writing something about it, but I’ve decided to write a little something that doesn’t directly involve the book, but can possible relate.

There’s a saying, if you could call it that, by someone I know that goes like this: “I just don’t know”.  I’ve caught myself saying, or rather thinking that a lot here lately.  I just don’t know.  God’s up to something, but I really just don’t understand what or his purpose for it.  Yet.  I know that He’s up to something and I know it’s going to be a whole lot better than I’ve ever imagined it to be.

One morning while I was about to drive over the bridge to go to work, I was thinking and wondering about how life sometimes is like living in a fog.  Sometimes in your walk with Christ, I believe that’s what life is like.  There’s a place we need to be, but not a place we are just yet.  If we saw that distant place where we need to be (in it’s entirety), I think it’d either overwhelm us, push us to pride or push us to something else unholy.  Instead, along the way we’re giving just little bits and pieces as to what God has in store, but not enough to hinder the journey that must happen along the way.  In that journey is a lot of things that, quite honestly, aren’t always easy, desired, or quick to go through.  Sometimes there’s lessons that we have to learn that could take months.  Sometimes there’s loneliness that must come.  There’s a lot of different things that will come our way.

Just like the great men of the Bible, we have to persevere.  We have to be courageous.  We have to be willing to let go and let God work.  Think about it, many of the great men of the Bible had to go years without the promise God had given them.  There were many days of loneliness and depression that these men went through.  Life, the Christian life, is a process, a continue process, one that calls us to daily die to ourselves and yield to His calling and direction.  Some days it may be easy; other days it may be the hardest thing to do.

As with a fog, when you’re in the area general area of an object or a group of people, things seem clear.  Such it is with our walk.  Put another way, it’s baby steps.  You can’t just run all the way up the mountain and clear the fog.  I was talking with someone tonight who told me that you just have to take small steps, one at a time.  This is something that I’ve really had to learn lately because I look at the big picture of something and sometimes get overwhelmed, when if it’s just broken up into smaller steps, it’s much more manageable and actually an easy thing to get accomplished.

There’s a quote I stole from somewhere that says, “don’t rely on feelings, but on God’s faithfulness”.  Always He’s faithful.  There’s a song by Hillsong called “You Are Faithful” that I really like because no matter what our circumstances and no matter what’s going on, He is Faithful.  “Always You’re with me / Your hand will lift me / My trust is in Your hands”.  No matter what, he is faithful and just like God said to Joshua, he will never leave us or forsaken us, or as another translation puts it “I will not fail you or abandon you“.

Has anyone else felt like they were living in a fog?  Be strong, take courage, and run the race that Christ has set forth in order that we may win the prize.  It may not always be easy, but the end will justify the pain it took to get us there.  And remember: it’s not about you.  You aren’t in control.  Christ is in control.  We have to let go of the wheel and surrender complete control.  Finally remember, His ways are perfect while ours, on our own, will always fall short.

The Deadly Sin of Pride

If there were one sin that all other sins branch from, which would it be?  I believe it would be pride.  Pride is the sin that says to God, “I know better than you do” about this or that.  It causes a people to become so bent on their way of thinking that any other way of thinking is wrong.

Something I’ve struggled with most, I think, is this sin.  I love the feeling of being in control.  I hate being wrong about most things.  I hate something I’ve done to be talked about in a negative way.  I see many things as challenges — if someone says I can’t do something like they want, I see it as a challenge.

The thing that’s hard for me is this: how do you overcome pride?  I’m honestly not sure, other than getting close to Christ and staying in that place where only he can get the glory.  The point where we’re in complete trust of what Christ is doing in our lives (and wants to do in our lives).

I think, in many ways, I’ve never really realized these things until the last year or so and also with starting work.  I’ve realized this for a while now, but it’s really beyond me of how to “fix” it.  I can’t fix it.  Only the Holy Spirit can teach me how to walk in humility.  That’s part of the journey, I think, that I’m on right now, though there are a lot of other things mixed in …

Give Me Your Eyes

This is a song by Brandon Heath that I heard a few weeks ago.  I can still remember the time I heard it and really focused on the words, because it made me think a lot.  Most times I do the very same this song professes, just look past people.  The prayer of my heart, as it has been for a good while now, is to see people the way He sees people.  I hope someone else reads it and gets something out of it!

Look down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight

Touch down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breath in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos

All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what’s underneath

There’s a man just to her right
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He’s out of work, He’s buying time

I’ve been here a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just move and pass me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
I need a second glance
Give me a second chance
To see the way you’ve seen the people all along

Edit there’s now a video to the song on Brandon Heath’s website, you can watch the video, Give Me Your Eyes, here.

The Plane Ride

I’m on the plane, headed to see Katharine for the first time in three months.  I haven’t flown in years, and as such have forgot a lot of what it’s like.  As we were ascending, I thought about how amazing everything is.  Pictures cannot describe how beautiful this place we call Earth is, and the One who made it, who is all so often overlooked, is so very amazing.  How can you explain it?  How can He be described in words?

So far I’ve just seen a little piece of Montgomery, and the rest has been clouds (about thirty minutes in).  When I looked out and watched the plane ascend, my eyes misted in the thought of how amazing my God is.  He is beyond amazing, beyond describable.  I think about the times throughout the day that I’ve overlooked something, such as the rain, as just something common and not for what it is – amazing.
It has probably been a few years ago now, but someone mentioned how when she was praying one day she just recognized and thanked God for the beauty of the things He created and how the response was, “thanks for noticing”.  It was something I will never forget.  Christ reveals His love throughout life, but all so often we look the other way or treat the good He’s shown us as commonplace — and all too often, we complain about it.

We complain about the rain.  We complain about it being too hot or too cold.  We complain that it only rained a little.  We complain about so many things, things that are beyond our control and solely in His.  I’m guilty of the same, and I probably do it countless times a day, but when was the last time we took the time to just be thankful.  You’re going to the lake and it rains, and we complain.  Why are we ungrateful for the rain when we’ve been praying for rain?  Often times, it’s just because it came at an inopportune time.  Are we going to complain when Christ returns that it was at an inopportune time for us?  Why do I spend so much time complaining, and so little time being thankful?

I want to be completely awed and amazed at how great and amazing He truly is.  Is it possible to always be thankful?  Yes.  Is it something that’s easily done?  No.  It’s something we must actively do.

How, in the ways that Christ expresses His love and beauty, can one still adamantly reject the One who created life?  He makes Himself so visible to those who truly seek Him.  And His beauty is amazing.  His creation is so wonderful, and the wonder of it all is that, in everything He created, He created us — to have a wonderful relationship with Himself.

He truly is amazing, wonderful, and grand … and He is the true source of all life!

The Storm

I couldn’t go to sleep tonight and wanted to write a story of something that just came to my mind.  I hope it doesn’t seem disorganized, but it does have a purpose and it does have a deeper meaning — but the meaning and purpose may not be exactly the same for everyone.

In all directions, all that could be seen is the darkness and blackness of the storm clouds overhead.  The wind was violent, tossing the small, covered boat back and forth.  The man on board felt an overwhelming sense of dread as the roar of the waves and the crashing of the thunder beat down on him.  The storms he had faced prior were small, perhaps even preparing him for this.  This was bigger – much bigger.  The man had heard of people overcoming storms like this before, but as the boat began to splinter, so did his heart and soul.

For hours, the horrific storm beat down.  His body became broken, his soul became weak.  The hours turned into days, as the storm tore apart the small boat.  He cried out to God day and night, but it seemed in vain.

He longed to see clearer, brighter days.  He wanted to hope again.  He sought the shelter of the everlasting Father.  Where was rest to be found?  It was a storm without relent.  As it bore on him day after day and night after night, he began to become weaker.

He cried out constantly for the storm to cease, but it pressed on.  Through the winter, through the spring, and to the summer where the seasons seemed to join, the soul began to see.  The shelter that had once been a mighty boat was now reduced to merely a boat with a sail.  The powerful storm was no more.  The prayers that once seemed in vain became clear.  The sheltered heart that had not known love now saw clearly.  What was broken once had been made pliable in order to be made new again.  The soul that once was hopeless, now found hope.  Where his only sail would take him, only God could know.  Without the storm, the shelter couldn’t have been destroyed.  And without the shelter being destroyed, the broken heart would never have been mended and restored.

The man in the mirror couldn’t understand what was occurring in his soul – all he could see were the waves crashing all around.  The purifying and refining fire that burned in his soul was only the beginning of what began many years ago with a whisper and a prayer.