“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
I have given a great deal of thought to these words from the book of James recently.
It is not always easy as a college student to think the verse even applies to me.
After all, I am 21 years old, and I feel my life has only just begun. I am in good health, so I sometimes fail to recognize the brevity of life.
But does my age or health mean the verse applies to me any less?
In October, we will celebrate the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses.
I mention Luther because he has long been one of my personal heroes.
I have always seen him as a larger than life figure.
By the day of his death, Luther had struck the match that would ignite the Reformation, penned many great hymns and even translated the Bible into German.
He had accomplished more than most could hope to achieve in many lifetimes.
But even a great and influential figure like Luther was given only 62 years.
What was his 62 years of life when compared to thousands of years of history?
What is 62 years when compared to all eternity?
In early January, I visited the grave of my own little nephew, Thomas.
Yellow flowers decorated the small and well-kept marker that represented his short and precious life.
Thomas was given only five days to live on this earth. Only five short days in thousands of years of history.
Sadly, he was not given the time to experience even the few things I have been able to experience.
His life is much easier to see as a vapor. He was with us for a moment, and he was gone too quickly.
But 2 Peter 3:8 teaches us that to God a thousand years is like a single day.
To God every life is like a vapor; whether we live one day or 100 years, it still appears as only a moment to the One who has always been.
Men and women have been born into this world and done great things in their time, but their lives have always been limited. Every person is only given so much time.
We are not guaranteed long lives. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We are not even guaranteed our next breath. Yet every moment we are given is precious.
Since our time is limited, we should use it in the best ways we can.
Many are in need of the Gospel and many are in need of support, discipleship and love.
We never know what time we have left, but we can use that time to accomplish great things.