"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." -James 4:14
The writer of James tells us that we are not certain what will come our way next. I’m sure each of us has plans for our day, and even plans for the rest of this week and the weekend; however, James tells us that our earthly future is uncertain.
James then goes on to ask us, “For what is your life?” I’m sure many of us would have a variety of answers to this question. If I answered this question from a secular view, I would say my life is being a husband, a father, and serving in the ministry. There’s no doubt there are many answers that people could give to describe what life is.
James answers this question for us in the same verse. The truth of the matter is our life is but a vapor. When I think about vapor, my mind immediately goes to winter, when it’s cold outside, and your breath becomes visible. You only see that vapor for a few short seconds and then it’s gone. This is the way James describes our lives. In the scope of eternity, our lives come and go as quickly as a short breath in winter.
It seems like yesterday that I was turning 13, then 16, then 18, then 21, getting married, and now I am 43 with 3 children, ages 18, 15, and 9. The point that I am trying to make, and I think you will agree with me, is that our lives are flying by. There are few things in life that are certain, but one of them is, “it is appointed unto men once to die.” (Hebrews 9:27) With that in mind, we know that death is certain. We will all face it. However, there is an uncertainty to death, because we do not know when we will face it. But we do know that life is just a vapor.
As we go throughout our day, may we make the right choices, choices that we will not regret when we get to the end of life. Most importantly, may we make the choice to accept Christ as our personal Savior so that when life has ended, and we are facing eternity, we can face it with Heaven in mind instead of Hell in mind.