Life’s Too Short

Life’s too short.

How many times have you heard that or said that in a lifetime?

Life’s too short, so eat dessert first.

Life’s too short to stay angry at your spouse.

Life’s too short, so spend the money now for that trip you’ve always wanted to take.

Life’s too short to be miserable all the time, so change your situation.

In a Psalm written by Moses, we see this theme in a different context. In his view, life’s too short and then you die. In the meantime, all we get to do is experience God’s wrath and anger. Now that’s a sobering and discouraging thought! According to this, we toil and trouble all of our lives and in the end, we just fly away. Yikes!

But focus on the first and the last verses of this Psalm:

Psalm 90 (New Revised Standard Version)

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

This is beautiful language. The image of God being our dwelling place in all generations is a word of comfort. From everlasting to everlasting, God is God and we are his! In the midst of toil and trouble, remembering that God is GOD (and we are not) helps tremendously.

You turn us back to dust,
    and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”
For a thousand years in your sight
    are like yesterday when it is past,
    or like a watch in the night.

For all our days pass away under your wrath;
    our years come to an end like a sigh.
10 The days of our life are seventy years,
    or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.

Moses appropriately calls attention to the “life’s too short” conundrum and brings a certain focus to the situation. It begs the question of what you intend to do with this too-short life. Can you answer that today? Life IS too short. How are you going to number your days wisely? What changes should you make?

Moses reminds us that God is angry when we sin and are disobedient.

11 Who considers the power of your anger?
    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.

So in this too-short life, we need to count our days and use them well. In this too-short life, we should seek wisdom and righteousness. Having acknowledged the anger that follows sin, we should strive every day of this too-short life to walk in holiness. Life’s too short for regrets.

What are you doing with your too-short life? Spend it well.

12 So teach us to count our days
    that we may gain a wise heart.

Life’s Too Short to Miss a Single Sunset by Joe McGraw

A Thousand Years

Time. We never seem to have enough of it, are always running out of it, have no control over it, and rule our lives by it. Think about how many times every day you check your watch/phone/Alexa to see what time it is. Nobody likes to be late for an appointment, and time sets the pace for our daily activity.

When someone you love dies, time starts to play tricks on you. Suddenly time stops. You find yourself dwelling on the past, trying to stretch out last moments, and not wanting to move into a future without them. Days and weeks either get stuck in the slow molasses of grief or suddenly accelerate to a holiday you hadn’t anticipated where you get to relive your loss in a new way.

Time in God’s terms, however, is a much altered thing. In Psalm 90 we see a common idea that in God’s perspective, a thousand years is like a day:

Psalm 90 (Common English Bible)

Lord, you have been our help,
    generation after generation.
Before the mountains were born,
    before you birthed the earth and the inhabited world—
    from forever in the past
    to forever in the future, you are God.

You return people to dust,
    saying, “Go back, humans,”
    because in your perspective a thousand years
    are like yesterday past,
    like a short period during the night watch.

This is what happens when you apply eternity to time. Suddenly centuries of years become like days. In heaven there are no clocks to measure out 24-hour periods of existence. Time simply IS.

The blessing in that for all of us is that our loved ones who have gone before us will experience our arrival as though it is happening right after theirs. The compression and expansion of eternity mean that for them, time is a seamless flow of entry into heaven. So when my father died in 2009, he turned around and there came my mom in 2014, which in eternity was like a day later. Best of all, their lives now are timeless as they rest in our Father’s arms. So too will yours be when you get there “tomorrow.” From forever in the past to forever in the future, God is with us.

You sweep humans away like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning.
True, in the morning it thrives, renewed,
    but come evening it withers, all dried up.

Take some time today to meditate on these things. God has been with you since before he birthed the earth and the inhabited world, and he will be with you forever. Thanks be to God!

Timeless Beauty by Becca Ziegler