“We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land, as our forefathers were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone too soon without a trace. ” 1 Chronicles 29:15
David’s words are timeless. No matter how long we hold on to dear life in this world, it slips from us as surely as night comes at the end of a day’s toil. One moment, we savor the freshness of youth and all the hopes and promises it carries, like a bud of rose bathed in morning dew and on the verge of releasing its sweet scent to a world of beauty and tranquility (or so I thought in my untutored mind.) One moment, we laugh until our guts ache, sans nary a pinch of worry. We feel invincible, as though anything is possible, unperturbed even by the wilting of flowers and fading of familiar voices. We think the world is ours, for keeps — that the spright and wit will remain, that we can chase our dreams while basking in the luxury of time.
But moments as they are, are not meant to linger. One day we find ourselves staring at a person who bears no traces of our former self. Marked by crow’s feet, eyes that once twinkled like stars, stare back sadly, and oftentimes, accusingly. Age spots sprout in our once alabaster-smooth face. And when we let out a feeble smile, wrinkles appear on cue. As if the inner twisting of the knot is not enough, we see our once thick mane hair peppered with gray and worse, falling, and falling each day. Yep, the verdict is on. Night falls for the once young and bright. Swiftly, the words “I dream… I wish… I hope” have turned into the dreadful, “If only….” Why didn’t anyone hammer into us when we were at the peak of our strength, that time would puff like a bubble? that every move was a nail to seal our future? But then again, would we have listened? (Hmmm, it appears that the ears do not have much use to the invincible.)
So what am I driving at here? Life without aim is a snare. When we realize that each day that we live is in reality, a day closer to our mortal destiny (uh, okay, to sheol –– the place of the dead) , is the greatest gift that we can ever receive — far greater than any degree, wealth or accomplishment we can ever boast of. The realization that invincibility is a sham, a deception and an illusion is a huge Eureka moment that will lead us to count each day as if it were our last. Thank God I learned this while I still I had time to “number my days.” But while I do not count myself among those whose personal life went helter-skelter and almost crashed before picking up the pieces, my journey had been on a different plane, and by far scarier. But God indeed deals with us, individually. The God of variety who created us reveals himself through life situations uniquely ours. With what I went through, I am convinced of the veracity and infallibility of God’s Word that I am no accident. Psalm 139 is a constant reminder of my origin and my worth.
I am now past the age of child-bearing. My body betrays me every now and then. There is not a single month that passes by without me experiencing a stab of pain somewhere — in my head, back, foot, arms, shoulders. Lately, my jaw and molar are getting to be a source of discomfort. My head doubly ached when I found out from my dentist I have a temporo-mandibular disorder (some kind of jaw disorder which is, according to him, the source of my constant headaches due to nerve pressure). Wow, I was told to prepare Php 66,000 for the treatment. It costs an arm and a leg to maintain one’s health once you are past the prime of youth. This earthly tent, no matter how well taken care of it may be, is bound to decay.
Were it not for John 11:24-25 (and John 3:16), mortality would be a cause for concern, if not dread. Praise God for his love. In his son, death will be swallowed up with immortality. Leaving this earthly tent is a passage to our eternal abode with the one true love of our life — our Creator and Savior.
When the time to leave this tent comes, as everyone will, I shall look forward to an eternal dwelling where the verve and color of youth never fade. Then I can laugh again to my heart’s content, play with my fave little twin stars, meet friends and loved ones who already crossed that great divide, fellowship with the saints of old, and be with my heavenly Father whose unfathomable love He demonstrated through the death and resurrection of His beloved Son.
I greet myself a blessed birthday. Reaching 44 is huge. Were it not for God’s mercy and grace, I could have stopped breathing before I reached my 18th birthday. Then, I would not have known the gift of motherhood. I would not have experienced the joys and travails of being a family woman, employee, homeschool teacher, daughter, sibling and friend. I would not have discovered my love-affair with writing as a form of catharsis. I would not have known I could make a dent in the professional life of government employees. I would not have known that my life has a purpose. But, most of all, I would not have known the depth of God’s love and faithfulness.
I am simply thankful. And that’s an understatement.