Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Fleetingness of Life...The Eternalness of Life

This year on my birthday, actually in 22 days, I will become a senior citizen.
Birthday Cake
Birthday Cake (Photo credit: Will Clayton)

I really don't mind the change in status.  I am the last of my siblings to enter this grand group and the last of our group of friends to do so.  But as the days wear on I am more and more aware of the fleetingness of life.

My days seem to fly by.  I can't believe we are almost at September -- it seems we just started the year, how can it be almost Labor Day?  The older I get the faster the days, the weeks and the years go by.

I am thinking even more of the fleetingness of life because the father of a friend of ours has passed away and anytime death comes close to any of our lives we are reminded of just how short our "three-score and ten" years are upon this earth.

Fleeting.  But for those of us who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, life is eternal.  This mortal body of flesh and blood will one day pass away (if the Lord tarries,) but we will live eternally.  In fact, the moment our fleshly heart ceases to beat, our spiritual heart will know joy unspeakable and full of grace unlike anything we can possibly even imagine.  There will not be a pause, not a delay, not a layover for another flight.  It will be instantaneous joy, peace and love in the presence of the One who IS joy and peace and love.

Yes, this life is fleeting.  Our bodies age, they weaken, they decline and eventually they die.  But we --that spiritual part of us that is united to the the Spirit of God in such perfect unity the Scriptures declared it to be "one spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:17) -- we will live forever in the exciting eternity of discovering new facets and wonders of our Lord.  We will forever swim in the "shoreless ocean" that can never be fathomed, that knows no limits.  As A. W. Tozer has written:
The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the Kingdom of God. It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead. That is where we begin, I say, but where we stop no one has yet discovered, for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end.

         Shoreless Ocean, who can sound Thee?
         Thine own eternity is round Thee,
         Majesty divine!

To have found God and still to pursue God is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart. St. Bernard stated this holy paradox in a musical quatrain that will be instantly understood by every worshipping soul:

         We taste Thee, O Thou Living Bread,
         And long to feast upon Thee still:
         We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead,
         And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

(A. W. Tozer, 1897-1963, alt.)

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