A Passing Shadow
Over a long Fourth of July holiday weekend, we enjoyed a lot of family time. That included plenty of moments with our new grandson. A few family members I had not seen since before the pandemic.
Everyone looked a little older. The younger nieces and nephews were taller, and my brother and sister had more gray hair. My 89-year-old dad had grown more feeble. Some deep conversations with my son revealed the profound impact on him of having a son of his own.
These changes remind me about the passing nature of life. Things do not stay the same for long. The Scripture says your life "is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). God's word reminds us that all "our days on earth are as a shadow" (1 Chronicles 29:15).
We all witness the fleeting nature of life. We are always changing, and the inevitable end of our time on earth is always approaching. If you thought that this present life is all there is, it may seem we live a futile existence. If you do not know the plan of God, you could become discouraged to think there is nothing more than this.
But when you are confident that something far more permanent is coming, all the constant change and inevitable end of this life make sense. God called you to look for "an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away" (1 Peter 1:4). Many have gone before you and died in this same hope. And "these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them" (Hebrews 11:13). They looked for something far beyond all the constant change and sorrows of this life. They are our examples who "confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth (same verse).
Holding on to what is passing away is futile thinking. Rather than dwelling on the fact that nothing in life stays the same, think about the permanence of the kingdom of God. Be like those who "waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:10). "Do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).
We cannot hold on to this life because it is all fading away. A lovely family visit reminded me of its passing nature. Someday, all that we see will be gone, and the only thing remaining will be that which is eternal. So keep your eyes on the kingdom of God, for that kingdom "is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away" (Daniel 7:14)!