Moses wrote to us about the transitory nature of our lives on this earth versus the eternal nature of God in Psalm 90. He says, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Ps 90:2). As we drove from Missouri to California this week, we crossed mountains, and these words came to mind. Before any of these mountains ever existed, God was God. God was always there, and he will always be. We, on the other hand, are transitory, “Return to dust, O sons of men” (Ps 90:3). Moses reminds us that we are on a journey, and these bodies that are wearing out will return to the very dust from which we all came. It happens very fast, “You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning—though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered” (Ps 90:5-6).
When we see people we haven’t seen in a while, we notice how much they have changed, and we have also changed for them. It is all just a reminder of our transitory nature. There is no denying it, and we all know it, but it is incredible how many people refuse to talk about and prepare for their death. As a pastor, I have seen scores of times over the years when a family refuses to talk about the possible end of a loved one who is close to death. It is common to all humankind to fear death, but God helps overcome that fear of death. When we realize that our life is in God’s hands and that Jesus has conquered death for us, we have nothing to fear. In fact, we have everything to look forward to one day. Once we are with Jesus in heaven, we too will gain the eternal nature like God that we so long for now.
Knowing that we are temporary on this earth frees us from our fears and allows us to live our life with no illusions. We can love our families and share our experiences with them knowing our time is short on this earth. What a joy to pour your life into your family knowing that you have a limited time to be here, so why not make the most of it.