by, Isam Itson III
Psalm 104: 24-34
How countless are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.,
25 Here is the sea, vast and wide,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
26 There the ships move about,
and Leviathan, which you formed to play there.
27 All of them wait for you
to give them their food at the right time.
28 When you give it to them,
they gather it;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your breath,
they are created,
and you renew the surface of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works.
32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles;
he touches the mountains,
and they pour out smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him;
I will rejoice in the Lord.
This Psalm reminds us that life is fragile. God created us to live for his joy and his glory. And yet our lives do not last forever. We live and conduct our business in environments that can enrich us or destroy us at any given moment. The goods we depend upon for our quality of life travel across the open ocean, and those ships can just as easily be overwhelmed by a freak storm or make their way to our commercial ports without incident or accident.
While we live, our lives are in God’s hands and subject to God’s provision. And the moment of our death is in God’s hands and there is nothing we can do about it. When our time is up, our time is up. Verses 27-30 – All of them wait for you to give them their food at the right time. When you open your hand they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face they are terrified; when you take away their breath they die and return to the dust.
Notice verse 31, though our lives are fleeting the glory of the Lord endures forever.
This means our life’s meaning is not defined by how long we live. Our life’s meaning is defined by what gives God glory. God is the creator and sustainer of life. He creates by his breath and gives us what we need to survive and thrive.
It does not matter that my time on the earth is short, and everyday is one day closer to my death. What matters is that while I am here my meditations, or habits of thought and action, are pleasing to God. What pleases God? When we honor God’s desire for his creation to thrive. When we honor how precious all of the people around us are to God. Even the people that disagree with us and despise us. We do not live to please them or rule over them. We live to honor God as the source and strength of their lives. We live to honor one another’s value to God. No matter how much it costs us. No matter how people treat us. That’s what Jesus did for us and that is what we do for others. This is how we please God. This gives power and meaning to our songs of praise.
So as we descend the mountain and return to our day to day lives in the valley let’s ask God to help us remember that our lives are in his hands, and that he created us for his good pleasure. Let’s remember to read our bibles to get to know God better so that we can better honor his love for each other. Let’s pray remembering that our hope and help is in God’s love and faithfulness as our Creator, Father, and King. Let us ask God to help us learn to remember that he is the source and strength of our lives. We do not need to live in fear of the inevitability of grief or loss. We can live trusting God as long as we live, now and forever.