Lifespan; February 8, 2018

Isaiah 65:20 “Never again will there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not live out his years;
he who dies at a hundred
will be thought a mere youth;
he who fails to reach a hundred
will be considered accursed.”

It’s interesting that we are approaching the condition prophesied here simply by medical means. In Japan, the average life expectancy for men is currently 81, and for women it’s 87. The thing to notice there is the word, average. It is common to run into people in their 90s, and centenarians aren’t unusual. The flip side of that is the huge advances in neonatal care, so that infants who live just a few days are indeed rare. However, that’s in a nation that almost totally ignores the God of the Bible, so what is the meaning? The thing is, living to a hundred doesn’t hold much weight if your destination is eternal destruction in hell. Our time on Earth is simply to give us the opportunity to discover and come into right relationship with our Creator, so that we may spend eternity with Him. Very few people actually live with that perspective, because as Paul said, “the god of this age has blinded them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) As Jesus pointed out, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:25) We measure our lives in time, but life in Christ is eternal, and so infinite. 100 years is no big deal for someone in Christ!

As I am now pushing 70, this is an issue that comes to mind fairly often. The thought of disposing of all the stuff I’ve accumulated is both pressing and depressing. I would much rather focus on how to be productive with each day, but leaving things for others to dispose of is both unkind and irresponsible. I continue to be concerned for my spiritual legacy, desiring to pour into others what has been poured into me. The thing is, all I really bring to the table is faithfulness, because the wisdom and strength have to come from God. I am to approach each day with anticipation and joy, knowing that God has given it to me and that His plans are good. I would have little problem passing things on to someone else, but the thought of simply disposing of things, with no one to receive them, gets me down. I still have a lot of room to grow spiritually! I’ve got to remember that Philippians 1:6, which I often quote to young people, is just as true for me: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Father, thank You for all You are doing in, around, and through me. Thank You for the various things I got done yesterday that had been bothering me. I have a largely open schedule for the next two months. Help me not fritter it away, much less retreat into doing nothing, but rather use each day as You intend, so that however long You keep me on this earth, every bit of it will be spent doing Your will for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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