A Vanishing Mist

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
As I walk through my life, I find that self-sufficiency is like a tumor haunting me. I continually find myself fighting against the idea that I can do anything on my own power. It is easy for a Christian to give lip-service to grace, to talk highly of it. Oh, but to be consumed by it is rare. I spoke with someone recently over dinner, and I was astounded by how quickly I became a hypocrite. Passionately describing how fleeting life is and how precious grace is, I found such inconsistency in my own life. If I believed firmly in even what I understand of God’s sovereignty, I would be such a different Christian. Instead, I find myself often without the zeal for God that is so important to me. James 4 was a banner over that recent conversation, challenging my pride. “As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” Oh, is there ever a moment free from such boasting in arrogance? What will it take for me to boast in my weaknesses? The all-sufficiency of Christ is an awful thing for the ego, casting down every idol. To be blessed with more understanding of God and more joy in God, I must be a wise steward of the understanding and joy with which He has already supplied me. If I am not pressed to the end of myself, then I will not understand the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.
“Resolved, to think much on all occasions
of my own dying, and of the
common circumstances which attend death.”

Jonathan Edwards, Resolution 9

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Be wretched and mourn and weep.
Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you….
What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
(James 4:8-10, 14b)