Around this time last year we received a diagnosis from my mother’s doctor that was heart-breaking. We were told that she had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and that her life would be cut short. This disease causes the motor nerves to die which send signals to the muscles. Because the nerves stop working, the muscles atrophy, rendering the person paralyzed and not able to eat or breathe on their own. The progression of this disease is very rapid and affects everyone differently, so it is uncertain to know how much longer she has on this earth.
For someone like my mother, this is hard to imagine. She grew up in a home with three sisters and ten brothers. Ten brothers! Now picture a girl growing up in a home surrounded by all these boys. She would have to be one tough cookie, and that is exactly what my mother is. She is a woman who has played on adult softball leagues, coached her kids and grandkids sports teams, replaced a radiator in her car all by herself and has always had some major project going on at home (like building a fence or fixing her lawn mower).
When someone who has always been so active and full of life can no longer do simple things like feed or dress themselves, it really makes you look at life differently. It’s hard to watch someone who has always been so independent, now need help with the simplest tasks. Many of us don’t usually take the time to think about life until we are faced with the reality of death.
Psalm 39:5 says, “You have made my days a mere handbreath; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”
Our life here on earth is just a breath compared to eternity. One day each of us will leave this earth, but it will not be the end of us. The problems, sickness and discouragement we face now are momentary compared to the life we have beyond this one. Our minds are bound by time, and eternity is so vast that it’s hard for any of us to comprehend.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Those who put their hope in Jesus Christ will live forever without pain, trouble or worries. Whatever you are facing today is only for a moment. So let’s focus on what’s ahead because life is just a breath.