Posted by: Diane | March 7, 2013

The Brevity Of Life

This is bizarre. I don’t know about you but when I heard about this, it stopped me in my tracks.

Las week, a man was swallowed by a sinkhole that opened suddenly underneath him while he was lying in bed in his suburban Tampa home. There were other people in the house at the time but only he and the contents of his bedroom disappeared when the earth opened up.

Jessica Damico, a spokeswoman with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, comments, “Sinkholes are common in Florida, but it’s rare when one opens up under a home and takes a person with it.”


What an incredibly stark reminder of the brevity of life. I wanted to stay in the moment of this truth so I grabbed a cup of tea, opened my Bible and spent some time reading about life from God’s perspective. I was vividly reminded that my days are…

…like water spilt on the ground    2 Samuel 14.14

…like a shadow     1 Chronicles 29.15

…like a weaver’s shuttle, but a breath, as a cloud    Job 7. 6,7,9

…like a swift runner, like swift boats, like swooping eagles   Job 9.25,26 

…like a flower that withers away     Job 14.1

…like a passing breeze that does not return   Psalm 78.39

…like a sigh     Psalm 90.9

…like grass, like a flower of the field, leaving no memory     Psalm 103.15,16, 1 Peter 1.24

…like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes      James 4.14

These are sobering words, aren’t they? None of us are promised another year, another month, another day or another hour. Life is short, life is a gift and life is a time of preparation.  There are times that life seems absurd, unreasonable, tragic and confusing but the Bible makes it perfectly clear that life is not encompassed from the crib to the grave.  God provides eternal life to those who by faith accept Christ’s work for them on the cross.

This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.                  1 John 4. 9.10

I don’t want to waste a day of my life on this earth – I want to be all that God wants me to be and enjoy His creation  – but I am increasingly aware that this is not my home. God has given us the heads up to “number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90.12 NIV) and wisdom comes from knowing God.  As J.I. Packer once said, “Knowing God is a relationship calculated to thrill a man’s heart” and I am purposed to know Him and enjoy Him forever – on earth and in heaven.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in a steal.  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.     Matthew 6. 19-21 NIV  


  1. Yes, how true. We were also reminded of this while we were in florida this week. We were in the adjacent county, Pinelles County. Certainly was very real for us since there was another sinkhole in the parking lot of one of my favourite shopping areas. It was in the same county, Hillsborough, which your story featured.
    It makes me mindful also.

  2. Hi Diane and Kathy,

    I have 2 friends, one ( Davidene) who lost her hubby 4 weeks ago, and one who (Libbi)is on deaths door. Both couples were passionate servants of our Lord for their whole adult life. Who will fill their shoes. The loss to this world is great! It has caused JD and I wake up, and live each day, serving the Lord and each other. ” in all you do, do it all to the glory of God.” My dear father in law, admonished me every time we were together, ” Barbara, live in such a way that you go from His presence into His presence when He calls you home.”

    Thanks Diane for your blogging which never ceases to challenge me to grow more into the image of Christ . I have realized of late, that being in God’s presence and living in the center of His will, is the only times I am truly happy. God’s mercy and Grace is the source of my peace, and His love for me, overwhelms me at times. His Salvation has given me life!

    I am attaching Davidene’s blog for your info as it reflects what you wrote on your blog. She has written several books Diane, and her husband wrote 13 books. One that is used repeatedly by pastors and missionary workers is called ” Shepherding Horses.” As you see, their blog is also on WordPress.

    Pray for Libbi, who is sitting , for the 48th day, at her 46 year old husband’s ICU bed.


    Sent from my iPad

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: Lifestyle Impact
    Date: 7 March, 2013 10:22:52 AM EST
    Subject: [New post] March 7, 2013 – update on Davidene
    Reply-To: “Lifestyle Impact”

    Respond to this post by replying above this line
    New post on Lifestyle Impact

    March 7, 2013 – update on Davidene
    by kenthumphreys
    I thought I would keep you posted about how life is now for me. You have been faithful in prayer for years – could you keep it up for a little while longer? I need you. I have been journaling, and I thought I would share some of it with you. I call my journal “Reflections”. It is somewhat random, with scattered thinking, but that is how I am right now.

    I have been a widow for 35 days. It is not what I imagined at all.

    Music hurts my heart. You would think that it would bring comfort to hear about how God is my strength and comfort and hope. My head knows that, and I live every day only by His grace, peace, and hope. But music reminds me only of what I have lost – why I so badly need God’s presence right now. It makes attending church hard, too. I have yet to get through an entire Sunday morning at church. And yet, sitting in my recliner in my living room, with the fireplace going, not looking at the empty recliner beside mine, comforts me. You would think that spending evenings as we did for so long would keep me in tears. But the opposite is true. It seems right – restful and calm. How can such opposites reside in the same entity?

    Another set of opposites in me – simplicity and chaos. The two activities that primarily defined my life were taking care of Kent and writing for him. Both are missing at present. I should have more time, but life seems busier than ever – filled with things that are not me. Like going to the office, sorting through stuff that were in their rightful places to begin with, an activity made more painful by giving and throwing away. He doesn’t need them anymore, and someone else can use them either physically or emotionally. But my heart needs for him to need them. That would mean he is with me.

    I woke up this morning thinking, “This is enough. He needs to come home now.” I cried for hours. Then my daughters arrived and cried with me. Then we all hugged, made some coffee and chai, and went back to writing “thank you” cards. And how very thankful we are for our friends and family who have so faithfully shown love and care in so many ways. Although it is real work just to think and write, I am glad for the tradition of the cards. We want to say “thank you”, and we mean it.

    How do widows make it without loving children? My kids and grandkids have sustained me in so many ways. When my girls arrived yesterday, they came bearing cards and pictures made by grandchildren. Carly, my eleven-year-old granddaughter, spent a long time on the computer, printing out many many photos that she thought would make me happy. They are all of her and her brother being silly and adorable. They are now all over my house, spots of happiness everywhere. My son, Lance, has supported me in untold numbers of ways. His dad prepared him to oversee the business, and teach me what I need to know and do, and he has been amazing. He is dealing with his own grief, but he has made the way easy for me, just as Kent knew he would.

    I think I am finished for today. I will keep on sharing my journal with you as I can. I love you and your prayers.


    kenthumphreys | March 7, 2013 at 9:22 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:
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