Do you ever in your mind step out of your life and try to see the big picture, try to put your life in perspective, try to look at it from God’s point of view? If you do, you might see things the way David did in this Psalm. You might see that in the big picture of things, your life is like a breath or a shadow. You’re not here very long and your life in this world is soon forgotten.
Now, I’m not trying to be pessimistic or deterministic. I’m trying to make a point. We have a backwards view of life. We live our lives in this world like they are the main reality and life after death is the “afterlife.” But the reality is that eternal life is the real reality and our lives in this world are just an introduction, a pre-life training for eternity. And death is our graduation to eternal life!
We make eternity all about our lives in this world when actually our lives in this world are all about eternity! It’s only the prospect of eternity, of eternal life, that makes our lives in this world matter, that makes them more than a “mere breath” or “passing shadow.”
It’s because the lives we lead and the choices we make in this world are preparing us for eternity.
It’s almost as if our lives on this earth are our education for eternity. We’re in school and death is our graduation to heaven. Some do good in school and excel in learning what they need to know to live successfully in eternal life after graduation. Some become fully formed spiritual beings sooner than others and get to graduate early. Then, there’s those of us who are slow learners, who never seem to mind very well in school. It takes us longer to graduate and then, I have to wonder, if we will still have some homework to do when we get to heaven!
God made you to spend eternity in fellowship with Him, but He doesn’t make you! By your life in this world, you get to make your own choice whether to accept God’s offer to form an eternal relationship with Him.
But, God had to make a way for us to reach for Him when He reaches out to us. He did that by sending His Only Son to live and die in this world the same way as all human beings. And, all we have to do is believe in Him. All we have to do is reach for the Hand of God that is reaching out to us!
“How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:15, NASB)