Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Hope

Remember how fleeting is my life.
For what futility you have created all men!
What man can live and not see death,
or save himself from the power of the grave?
PSALM 89:47-48 (NIV)

A recurrent theme for those who suffer is a sense of futility about life. With their hopes dashed, their strength gone and their future uncertain, they begin to see life like the psalmist in verses 47 -48.

I call this perspective “stark reality.” It’s stark because it stands out in bold relief, in sharp black and white. And it’s reality because there’s no escaping from it.

Viewing our life as fleeting can change the wasteful way so many of us live. For many of us who have overcome serious adversity, this perspective helps us to live purposeful lives that give glory to God. Amazing, isn’t it, how God can use death to lead us to vibrant life!

That is why we never give up.
though our bodies are dying,
our spirits are being renewed every day.
For our present troubles are small
and won’t last very long.
Yet they produce for us a glory
that vastly outweighs them
and will last forever!
So we don’t look at the troubles
we can see now;
rather we fix our gaze
on things that cannot be seen.
For the things we see now will soon be gone,
but the things we cannot see will last forever.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Hope for Those Who Hurt

Why, O Lord, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?
… the darkness is my closest friend.
PSALM 88:14,18 (NIV)

When someone has battled a life-threatening illness for years, he or she often feels utterly alone, as though no one else has ever sunk so low in the pit of despair. Psalm 88 is a comfort for such men and women because it shows they are not breaking ground in the field of suffering.

Perhaps the most painful part of suffering is the perceived absence of God. So the psalmist cries out, “Why, O Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?” (v. 14). In an odd sort of way, it helps us to know that we have not been personally singled out by God to endure some wrenching trial. Others have passed this way before us.

Psalm 88 brings another peculiar comfort in that it ends in a minor key; clouds still obscure the sun when the writer puts down his pen: “The darkness is my closest friend.” (v. 18). He shows us that others have passed this way before … and God honored their journey by enshrining it in His Word. Odd comfort, perhaps – but real nonetheless. Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,

“I am the light of the world.
If you follow me,
you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life.”
JOHN 8:12 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky