The essence of life is found in the 14th chapter of the book of Job. It says, “Man, that is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of trouble.” This simple statement contains several realities. The first thing is, it distinguishes the difference between the man created by God, from man born of a woman. The man created by God was created perfect and existed in a perfect environment. His life was trouble free, and his only concern was to obey God. However, the life of man born of a woman is totally different. By comparison, our lives are very, very short. At first glance, to consider living beyond 70+ years seems like a long time - until you live it. It is then the vivid words of James 4:14 hold true that our lives are like a vapor. In other words, it has come and gone before we know it. It’s the next part of the statement that gives us woe: “and full of trouble.” That pretty much sums it all up. It feels sometimes either trouble is here, has just left, or is just around the corner.
But here’s the beauty of Job’s statement put into perspective. If this was all there was to life: live, full of trouble, and then die - life would lack meaning, purpose and value. What the world has missed in its assessment of the existence of God is, the true meaning of life has nothing at all to do with the measurement man uses to determine a successful life. There is no accounting for what happens at the end of life. What they miss is it doesn’t matter what you accomplish in your time on the planet, because you leave every bit of it behind at death. So, what’s the point. The real point is the “what’s next.” The “what’s next” is what happens to us from the grave moving forward. For the Christian, this is where life finds its fulfillment in eternity. For the world, there is only final judgment and eternal damnation. It’s up to us to help them understand the rest of the story. If not us, who will? More on this next week.