2 Samuel 14:14 “For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.”
When I was young I could be a bit careless, I would tend to focus on the things straight ahead rather than consider my surroundings, I’m afraid my daughter inherited this trait from me. She would unintentionally find a way to tip her water over at the dinner table. Mind you, she was a wonderful little girl to raise, we rarely had to discipline her and when we did, it was very impactful for her. She was a leader in her peer groups and a leader on her sports teams, regardless of what she played. I think we grounded her one time for treating one of her brothers poorly and she was so devastated by it, we never had to do it again.
On one instance some friends asked us if we would like to go to dinner at a restaurant with them, once we arrived and we were all seated, they actually asked us if it would be all right if Alysha(our daughter), could sit between them. I warned them that she could be a bit clumsy but they acted as if they had been there before and knew what to do. I think they made it about 20 minutes before Alysha, unaware of her surroundings, tipped the full glass of water over on the table and a small waterfall began to cascade off the table and into their laps. Their chairs moved away from the table at record speed and there sat my sweet little daughter, worried she might be in trouble.
I could warn my daughter to be careful all day long, and when I was warning her she would look for the areas she needed to have caution for and carefully maneuver her hands when reaching for something. But, as children so often do, they begin to interact with one another, the laughing and meal take over and soon they begin to forget about the pitfalls that surround them. Soon, the areas of vulnerability become the areas of trouble and the reminder that they exist becomes all too apparent.
My daughter is grown now, as is my 3 wonderful boys, she is also married and has two precious little girls of her own that she gets to have her own experiences with and share with her husband.
When I think back on those memories, I’m reminded of how quickly time passes me by, how one moment my wife and I are raising 4 kids, dealing with the hectic pace of life and activities, teaching lessons, worrying about their development, trying to stay involved in their activities, and then one day they are grown and have families of their own.
On reflection of this scripture in 2 Samuel, I’m also reminded of my heavenly Father and the ways He has taught me lessons in life. His loving correction and teaching was never meant to discourage me or make me feel defeated but He would always have patience with me each step of the way, growing me into the man He desired for me to become. As a young man He guided me in the way I should go, as a Father He taught me how to model godliness (particularly through my wife), and He has patiently endured with me as I became a grandfather and entered new chapters of my life.
Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Through all of my failings, the Lord has remained faithful. I’m so thankful that the Lord doesn’t change, His Word never changes, it doesn’t shift with the times or become relevant to a culture that wants to blur the lines of righteousness and Truth.
Just as God remains faithful in blessing, He likewise remains faithful in judgement.
The reminder of God’s standard for righteousness, His moral law, is a standard that has pressed through thousands of years of families, cultures, and kingdoms. My country is barely 250 years old and yet thinks it has all the answers for how we should creatively press forward in some countercultural shift. Redefining gender seems to be a subject that has become mainstream, redefining morality is a subject the world has broached a thousand times over. Regardless of what the world wants, the Lord does not shift nor does His character change; He remains steadfast and His judgements will be fair regardless of which generation you grew up in.
Hebrews 9:27-28 “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
The finality of life seems to approach at a rate accelerated beyond the time. Just like my kids seemed to move from adolescence to adulthood far quicker than I realized as a young man, so life concludes before we know it. In the process of growing as people of God, He corrects us in a multitude of ways.
The ways that God corrects are a reflection of His love.
- Patient Endurance (2 Peter 3:9)
- Gentle correction (2 Thess. 3:5)
- Loving Rebuke (Revelation 3:19))
- Through tribulations (Acts 14:22)
- Warnings from others (Matthew 18:15)
- By His Spirit, through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16)
- Directly into our hearts (1 Cor. 2:10-11)
Psalm 30:5 “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.“
Our lives can be a roller coaster of joy then difficulty, from celebration to heartache, the journey of life isn’t for the faint of heart but it is well worth the purpose for which we were created.
When we look back on our lives and recount all that God has brought us through, I am convinced that the times of hardship were as critical in our lives as the moments of joy. We must remember that as children before a wise and loving Father, we have much to grow through, there is a tremendous amount of learning we must do, and there is a continual correction happening to keep us on the path of life that He has brought us on.
One day, we will be like that spilled water, returning to the dust from which we came and the finality of our decisions in life will become a reality.
We must remember to live with purpose, in the fear of the Lord, in love for others.
One day, we will all be reunited in the presence of the Lord and we will rejoice in His faithfulness in our lives. We will look back and see how our loving Father guided and directed us through our weaknesses and failures and we will give thanks that He never gave up on us.
Until then, continue on the path He has set before you, knowing that it is good. One day the striving will be over and we will have the rest He has promised long ago, the curse of sin will be gone, Jesus will reign, and will know know the fullness of His joy.
That will be the day….