Life, however long you live, is brief. Whether one lives to a hundred or dies as a child, life is short in terms of eternity. Our lives are but a vapor, the dew that gathers on the morning grass. We are not insignificant, though. The dew soaks through the shoes when you walk in the morning grass. It is there. It makes its impact. That same walk later in the day has no trace of water.
To this brief life God has chosen to display his glory. It is the glory of God’s image, a touch of His nature, displayed in a beautiful life. So, we are said to be like the grass flower which blooms in the morning’s light and dies by end if day (1 Peter 1:24-25 ).
So life is brief. Consider the dying bee above. We need bees. Without them much of our food would not produce. Get too close to one and you will find yourself in pain. Yet bees live only for a few days. Their impact lasts, though, for all of us benefit from their timely service.
Or consider Andrew Heard. Andrew ended his battle with cancer last Friday. He was 30. He leaves behind a lovely wife Bailey, and a child, Ellie. Andrew was on his second bout with cancer. He was a fighter. His life seems short to us. Yet he has made significant impact with his brief existence. Perhaps one element of his contribution to our lives has been his openness to talk about the human struggle. Like a modern Job, he has exposed our struggle with understanding God and this complicated life. His most recent book, A Gray Faith reveals his struggle with issues that brought him depression, uncertainty, and yet still faith. Andrew, like the bee, seems to have lived strong, yet a life that is brief. Yet, we cannot judge the real impact of time. How would we consider 30 years of life compared to a 1,000, or 10,000, or 100,000 years? Or eternity, where time is not counted? Or, how can we think Andrew’s glory is short lived when he is bathed in the presence of the glory of God?
I can tell you that having been in brief moments in the presence of the glory of Christ Jesus, that Andrew is not feeling any lack of life being in heaven with Jesus. We miss our friend and grieve with his family. Yet the truth is, life is only brief for the earth-bound, we who remain. Those who are with the Lord know life in its fullness. This Saturday we will say goodbye to our friend. We will also celebrate his entrance into the life that never ends.