Sunday, April 23

my life is like the morning fog ...

 “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? 
Your life is like the morning fog—
it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”   
James 4:14  New Living Translation (NLT)

In the past couple months, I have sat in the seats of three funerals. 
A cousin’s husband, a first cousin, and a friend from church.  
In each case death was sudden.  A diagnosis of cancer and passing 6 days later.  The next - she went to sleep and awoke in heaven!  Just like that.  And the last was sudden - heart failure.  No time for a last hug.  But like the morning fog, here and then gone.

Our lives are but a “vapor” ... a “mist” ... or the “morning fog”.
Death is all around us, and in each of these funerals, there was hope we have in Christ of one day being reunited again.  I sat in the chairs and my mind scrolled through many thoughts.  And, I don’t think I am unlike others who I assume also think of these things when at a funeral.

Thing is, I began thinking of my funeral when my mom passed away, which is almost 21 years ago (May 5).  Somehow, knowing my mom was in Heaven took the fear out of dying.   And then a year and a bit later when my dad died, it was then that I began to pen my own thoughts on my funeral.  Now, I have to say that my ideas have been changed a little.  I used to keep it in a file on my computer desk top.  Ashley (my daughter) told me it was a little weird to use my computer and see the file named “My funeral”.

I believe that as wonderful as it is this side of Heaven, that the best is yet to come.  Sure, I don’t want to hurry death in any way.  I love spending time with my husband, kids and grandkids, family and friends. However, I also know that one day I will be reunited with those who have gone on before - and especially looking to one day talking with my grandson Jay Benjamin, and other family like my Mom, Dad, Niece Keri, Granny, and other grandparents that I never got to meet yet.  

Our life is but a vapor ... in God’s time, I believe it.  One day to him is like a thousand and a thousand are like a day.   Psalm 139 tells me that God knew the number of my days before one of them came to be!  He knows.  Yes, I can do what I can to take care of myself, and live a healthy life, but the reality is, my life is like the morning fog!  

So, how am I living that vapor out?  Am I living my life fully and with intention?  Apparently my friend from church used to say “remember who you are representing” when a person left to go somewhere.  Does my life represent Jesus?  Is there a sweet fragrance of the LORD left lingering behind after I have been with someone?  Will my life leave a legacy of faith to my kids, my grandkids and my friends?  Will Jesus say “well done good an faithful servant” when I come into his presence?

Alvin and I have talked about death a bit.  Usually it is me telling him “I will never remarry, but you would have to!!”  Or joking that Ashley says “dad would be able to have toast and eggs, and could live with us and hang out with the kids”.  Not sure if everyone jokes that way.   Or does it just happen when the “vapor” or “morning fog” seems like it is lifting (as we age) and death seems eventually inevitable?  I remember my mom talking to me about if she were to go first ...   I hated talking about that with my mom.  In fact the thought of losing them made me cry.  However, I have had some conversations with my kids, and I think it is in a healthy place.  Who are we trying to kid?  Our life is but a morning fog!!

And the weird thing is, no matter how we talk, or write out plans.  No matter how much we wonder about the length of our lives - only God knows.  
He knows when the “morning fog will lift” and in the meantime, I know that HE is the one who holds the vapor/mist/fog of my life in his hands.  I believe HE is the one who has it all under control, amidst the unknown, and He will give whatever strength/grace is needed for the days/years ahead.

I realize I have NO CLUE what my life will be like tomorrow.  I think I may know, but that can change in an instant ... I have been at the celebration of life services which attest to that.  I can have all the best plans for tomorrow.  I can have the greatest insurance plan for my life.  But it is God who has determined it all.  

I have talked about living life full on - about “going big or going home” - about living fully for Him.  I can do that, because it is Jesus who gives me the full and abundant life.  He said, “I have come to give life and give it to the full.”   That life is not about fear of tomorrow, or about worry about how or when I die.  That life IS about giving him today, tonight and tomorrow and entrusting each breath to him.  

Fog is a little eerie.  Dense.  It can create a little anxiety when driving.  We experienced this a couple months ago while driving up a mountain trail.
I was a little anxious.  I could not see hardly in front of our car.  Thing is a mere mile before there was no fog.   But we were in the thick of things, not knowing when it would life, and when we could exhale again.  (Alvin was driving and he didn't seem as anxious as me, but he was glad when we were out of it.)    That is an object lesson of our lives.  Here and then gone.

NOT so that we worry.
NOT so that we weep unnecessarily because we are afraid.
NO, it is to help us understand the mystery of our lives that have been created by our Sovereign GOD.  And because of Him, and the “cloud of witnesses/saints that have gone on before” I am not afraid.   I know who holds my future - and He gives me peace.

Sorry, this is not profound or anything - just the ramblings of this “country mouse” as she runs through each day.  Living fully.  Living life all out.  Trusting.  Day in, day out, day in, day out - until my LORD calls me home.

These funerals have made me consider what would be said.  What would be sung?  What Scripture?  Would there be a lot of people. Would there be enough pictures for a slide show??  (this makes me laugh because truth be told, I take most of the pictures, so there may not be!! Joking)  Has my life had impact for Jesus?  It is all about HIM.  Every breath has to be all about my Jesus.  Here on earth, until the fog lifts, and I find myself with HIM and my loved ones gone on before, in Heaven.

 “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? 
Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”   
James 4:14  New Living Translation (NLT)

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