Just a Vapor

“You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”
James 4:14, NASB

large_6345105963Death has been lurking around every corner these past couple of weeks. My beloved sister-in-law, a friend’s mother, a stranger who passed us on the highway, those shot down in the Malaysian airplane … all of them recently came face to face with death. While this topic can depress and frighten us, we live with the reality that death remains a natural part of life. None of us are exempt. Which leads me to contemplate…

If I’m just a vapor wisping through the atmosphere—here one moment, gone the next—what am I doing that really matters?

Yet JUST NOW realization dawns upon me: It’s not the doing, but the being that’s so critical.

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” Phil. 3:8

Years ago a Bible study friend presented the thought of being vs. doing, and I’ve never forgotten her wise words. In order to do anything of value in this life, I must first BE enamored with Christ. Who He is, what He’s done, what He’s doing and will do should fill my horizon. Truths about God Almighty should both create hunger and produce satisfaction within me. Gazing on His immense beauty, knowing Him—BEING with Him—will absolutely change me. From that state of being, God will reveal what activities I should undertake for His glory.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…” (Jn. 8:12) 

And we are just a vapor—unseen, yet made visible in the light of Christ. 

Life only contains purpose with Christ.

“And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” Jn. 17:3

Dear friend, do you know Him?


Note: I’d like to give special thanks to my friends and fellow bloggers, Heather Halbert, Jeanne Doyon, and Andy Lee, whose recent posts have presented truths that God partially used to inspire today’s devotion. I love how He highlights specific lessons in a variety of ways, including my reading this morning of Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.

Much love to each of you in Christ,



photo credit: glasseyes view via photopin cc


Sidestepping Death

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.”

Luke 10:33, NIV

Mom-2“Have a nice day!” the woman in front of me said to the cashier as she made her way toward the door. Reaching for my wallet, I stepped up to the cash register to pay ― then heard an ominous thud.

Moments earlier, the vibrant woman had imparted words of cheer. Now she lay motionless. Several employees rushed to her side while the visibly shaken cashier proceeded to ring up my purchase. Then, grocery bag in hand, I stepped around the commotion and walked to my car.

I felt horrible leaving the scene. I was morbidly struck by the ease with which my life carried on while it came to a screeching halt for another. Shouldn’t I do something?

That day’s dilemma may appear uncommon, but we step around those who are dying every day. Our problem, in general, is not that we deliberately cross the road to avoid the man in the ditch. Our problem is we never see him lying there. We engage in conversations with people continents away as we fail to make eye contact with the person directly in front of us.

The widespread malady of sin infiltrates our culture, and with stealth like accuracy snuffs out thousands of lives a day. It’s a shadowy, silent killer. Am I a silent witness ― or am I a witness at all?

The Samaritan man stopped to help his Jewish neighbor in distress. Racial barriers were no contest for his sweeping heart of mercy. He disinfected and bandaged the man’s wounds, brought him to an inn, footed the bill, and took care of him. He spared no expense, willing to give of his time and his resources so a stranger’s life could be restored.

Our day-to-day encounters with those who are hurting call for measures far less extreme, and yet we often fail to be the hands and feet of Christ. We underestimate the impact a random act of kindness, heartfelt greeting or friendly smile may have on someone’s day.

The parable of the Good Samaritan reveals the heart of Christ for those who are wounded, lost and dying. I must ask: What does it reveal about mine? Do I choose to sidestep death, or do I step into the gap to restore the life of another?

The Samaritan chose wisely. The Master’s words exhort us to “Go and do the same.”