James 14:13-15 “And now I have a word for you who rashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing.” (The Message Bible)
As I look out the window I see vapor coming off the Duluth Harbor and Lake Superior. It is 14 below zero and the water is warmer than the air. I can see where there is open water in the mostly ice-covered Harbor, as streams of fog lift gently up into the sky to join other tendrils making a beautiful fog bank.
The sun is still coming up behind the clouds turning them a soft shade of pink. It’s a very pretty sight easy to get caught up in.
Francis Chan said in his book Crazy Love, “On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. On the average day, we don’t consider God very much. On the average day, we forget that our life truly is a vapor.”
It seems that, for some of us to consider God, something has to bat us upside the head to get our attention. In a time where our country seems to have lost its collective mind, we desperately need to get closer to the One who can give us ‘form and substance’. We can only get that by setting our “vapor” down and focusing on Him who can keep us together.
Spending time with God should not a chore to get over but rather something we look forward to. It takes two things to accomplish this on a daily basis, commitment and discipline.
I admit I had, and still have in some areas, problems with these same words. I was cavalier in my attitude toward God, rarely reading my Bible, praying only if I needed something. I’d open my Bible only if my friends could get me to join them in a Bible study.
As I got older and “life” happened, as it often does, I began to realize I truly needed more of God in my life. The only way that was going to happen was to sit down and do it. It wasn’t easy and there were many false starts but I kept at it.
Then one morning I woke up very early and saw the beginning of the sunrise. I was mesmerized by the beauty and wonder of it. The sunlight started with deep reds turning to bright oranges with every shade in between, then turning a bright gold, then a yellow too bright to see.
The blue sky went from midnight blue to a blue almost transparent in color. The clouds, from grey to a touch of rose and light pink to blazing white!
“Oh Father, You do good work”, I whispered. “Do it again!?”
He whispered back, “I do this every morning.”
I promised I’d get up every day to watch Him “paint the sky” and He has been faithful to do it every day. Now sometimes the cloud cover has been too thick to see the sunrise but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. I still get up early and praise and worship God as He paints the sky every morning, even when I can’t see the sun rising, because I know it is still there behind the clouds. Then I get my Bible out and read the passage for that day.
Side note – Chose a different Bible translation to read from each year. It may open your eyes to see a verse in a different light that you would normally gloss over because it is so familiar to you.
Something else today reminded me that life is a vapor. A young life was lost to brain cancer the other day. She was only 17 years old. We don’t know how much time God has given each of us. Doesn’t it behoove us to use it wisely?
Here are some questions to think about.
- What’s truly keeping me from getting up a little earlier to spend a few minutes with God?
- How can I teach my kids that having a quiet time with God is important if they don’t see me doing it? Most actions are caught not taught.
- How much more will God be able to bless me if I obey Him?
Why not take a couple of minutes right now to talk to God. Reading a devotional only gives you a place to start. It’s time to get your “vapor” moving and see what God will make of it!