Our magnolia tree is in full bloom. Large creamy white magnolia buds and blooms stand among the contrasting shiny green leaves. If you come close enough you can smell their sweet citrus fragrance. These beauties don’t last long though. Maybe two to three days. Then the petals drop to the ground just as quick as they arrived. The life of a magnolia flower is brief much like our life.
When I was a child I had almost no concept of how short life is. In my young mind it felt as though I may live forever. After a few years, and a few life experiences, the reality set in that my life will end on this earth.
If we are fortunate enough to live a good long life we live into our eighties, maybe even nineties. The miraculous few advance into over one hundred years. These numbers all sound large. We sit back and say, “They lived a long life”. In light of eternity those years are small. Almost immeasurable.
The magnolia flower is a stunning picture of our short time here. Birth, and childhood, and growing up, and adult stuff. We go from seeds, to buds, to flowers in full bloom. And it’s all beautiful. The victories, triumphs, joys, rewards, heartaches, pains, losses, hurts, and wounds. All are part of the beauty. They come together to make us who we are.
James tells us that our lives are a mist. We appear for a little while and then we vanish (James 4:14). James warned those who boast and brag of where they will go tomorrow and what they will do, because they may not see tomorrow (James 4:13-14). Only God knows what tomorrow holds. James continues on to say that there should be no boasting and bragging about what we are going to do; only if it’s God will (James 4:15-16).
It’s humbling to think of my life as a mist that will vanish. God knows when my life will end. I have no guarantee of tomorrow. I’d like to think I do, but I don’t. I’ve got right now. I choose to follow Him, not lead. This is not easy for me. So many times I have made plans without God in mind. I have boasted and bragged with no mention of the will of my Father. His grace and love always remind me that His plans are better than mine in this beautiful life.
James 4:14 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (NIV).
Love you all,