Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.“ James 4:13-15
Heavenly Father, you haven’t made us for “15 minutes in the spotlight,” but for an eternity of glorifying you and enjoying you forever. As this Friday in March begins, we praise you for such a hope and future—a future that’s already begun for us in Jesus.
Yet this passage reminds us that our lifespan isn’t very long at all. We’re more like a brief mist than an aging oak. Only you know when we’ll “vanish” from this body into your presence. In light of the gospel, what should we spend more time doing, and less time fretting?
Where, in Jesus’ story of redemption, would you have us invest more of our passion and time, joy and tears? Human trafficking, orphan care, or healthcare? World missions, or justice and mercy issues in our own community? Vocational discipleship, or encouraging missionaries and young pastors? Show us, Father, compel us.
And, what’s bugging us that isn’t all that “bug-worthy,” for such a brief life? Where should we spend more of your money and less of our worries? With whom should we spend more face-to-face time? Who’s coming behind us that we need to nurture in the gospel? Who are we still holding hostage by the chains of our unforgiveness and bitterness?
Father, we praise you that doing a better job with any of these things won’t merit more of your love, or better dwelling space in heaven. It’s Jesus’ performance and record in which we boast. But your grace frees us to ask the right questions and live more intentional life. So, make our gospel-bucket-list for us, Father. We’ll plan and trust you to order our steps. So very Amen, we pray, in Jesus’ matchless and magnificent name.