The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
But the love of the LORD remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!
—Psalm 103:13-18 NLT
It’s not like we didn’t already know this. If we’ve stopped to think about human life for any amount of time at all, we have understood that life is fragile. We are reminded of it each time a natural disaster sweeps lives away by hurricane winds or tornadoes or raging rivers. It’s obvious when a plane crashes or a gas line fails. Just walk through a children’s cancer ward. The ache and throb of knowing how very fragile life is pulsates there—along with the resiliency and hope of the children.
And yet we so easily forget, don’t we? If our own personal lives are humming along … we forget. We make our plans for vacations and weddings and birthday parties with absolute confidence and become irritated if it dares to rain on our carefully planned parades. We talk about what we will do next year or after we retire or when we buy our house as if it’s a given. And even when we grow old, we continue with the expectation that life will go on as it always has and feel shocked when movement is harder or when aches and pains settle in for a long stay.
So when a tiny, little virus creeps in—unknown in its ultimate potency and lasting ability—it takes us by surprise. When cancellations begin, we scratch our heads in wonder. Then as cruise lines cancel all trips and museums close and Disney shuts its doors and schools send the children home, the crescendo builds and all of a sudden we are aware once more that we are fragile. Our man-made structures we are so proud of don’t seem quite so secure. Our hospitals that always seemed sufficient suddenly morph into fallible institutions with limited capabilities and a finite staff capable of getting sick themselves. Life becomes more precious and more … fragile.
This discovery is not new. Long ago and far away a shepherd boy made king wrote of this and his words ring as true today as they did then. They are worth studying. Alongside the reality of human fragility are great truths of human endurance and immortality. Let’s look at this together and ponder for a few moments, settling into the truth and blessing of the Word of the living God.
The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. The living God, creator of heaven and earth, is like a tender and compassionate father to those who fear Him. How amazing is that?! When we stop and honor Him as the big and mighty God He is … He doesn’t crush us or torture us in some way. He welcomes us as children, knowing full well how weak and fragile we are in this great big, beautiful but flawed world. It’s safe to run to Him. His welcome is sure.
Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never been here. This truth is the sobering reality we often hide from and keep ourselves too busy to hear. Like wildflowers that grow and blossom and then are swept away, so we grow and blossom and live on this planet for a relatively short time, and then we also are swept away and remembered with increasing dimness as the years go by. This is true for all of us, no matter how famous, no matter how wealthy, no matter how vibrant we might be. And if this were the end of the story, how miserable an ending indeed! But it’s not the end at all.
But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments! Did you pick up on the word “forever” there? Yes. The love of the Lord remains forever. It remains for us when our bodies die. We live on in our spirits and are clothed anew when we meet our God. It remains for our children’s children as long as fragile human beings live on this planet. Because God is. Always. He does not change. And He tells us clearly that someday, when we leave these fragile bodies, we will come face to face with Him.
Let’s fear Him now and ask to become His. Let’s embrace the fact that those who humble themselves before Him and accept His salvation through His Son Jesus ... those He calls His beloved children. You don’t need to know a whole lot about Him to belong to Him. But you do have to give up the belief that you can do it on your own. It’s when we accept and acknowledge our own fragility, when we ask for help and forgiveness for ignoring the One who made us and loves us, that life really begins.
And then we have a hope that no number of earthquakes, fires, plagues, or tortures can obliterate. Although this life is short and beautiful and hard … the life to come will be brilliant in its beauty and awesome in its magnitude. We are fragile here, yes. But we are all immortal. And the sooner we realize this and reach out to the One who is … the sooner we can see life through the truth of His Word and His ways. It’s okay to be fragile when you are held by a tender and compassionate Father who says, “come to Me” and then forgives, cleanses, and loves you forever. No matter what happens, you win.
Dear Creator-God, You made me. I acknowledge that. You created this beautiful world and gave me life and breath and time to live and grow in it. Thank You. I don’t understand completely, Lord, the hard things that come. Help me to run toward You in crisis, trusting that You are the tender and compassionate Father David speaks about in this Psalm. I choose You. I ask for Your salvation and Your help to navigate hard times—and easy times. All times, Lord God, I choose You and the forever-love You offer. Save and help me please, and when my fragile life ends, take me … changed from fragile to perfect by Your love demonstrated on the cross … to be with You forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You are loved,
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Sweet Selah Ministries
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
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