There is no permanency in this world. Even the comfort and the success we aspire and gain are not permanent. Our life ends so are the delights of this world. True, life is short. The COVID-19 pandemic lets us meet death face to face. It highlights the fact, “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.” – Psalm 103:15-16.
It is futile to focus on riches and earthly successes. God’s plan is to bless us and give us a good life. As He says in His Word, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11. But to focus and give more importance to earthly successes such as wealth, prestige, and fame, are not the primary concern of God for His people. Although God cares for what we care, His wisdom and love for us lead us to the way that is permanent and truly significant. It is not wrong to aspire good things in this life and achieve them. But oftentimes, when we enjoy the sweet fruits that the world offers, we forget the sweeter fruits that God is offering to us. Take the words of the wisest man ever, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.” -Ecclesiastes 5:10-12. King Solomon was saying that the truth is, whether we have little or much in this world, it does not really matter. When man loves wealth, he can never be satisfied. When our focus is wealth and earthly treasures, we can not be fully satisfied. The same thing is spoken of in another passage. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5. Again, what is the point? Money and successes should not be the main driving forces in our life. It should be God for His presence is constant and permanent. These earthly things are not. COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful teacher of truth to set our priorities straight. We cannot have dual priorities. It is always that we value one thing more than the other. If we value more our earthly cares and ambitions, we cannot truly value God. When we forsake them and live in the will of God instead, we are surprised to see that along with living in His will are blessings of successes and honor more than we could ever asked or dreamed of. When King Solomon sought God to help him rule the kingdom, he asked God for a discerning mind and understanding. And God was so pleased that He gave King Solomon wisdom beyond compare. And even if Solomon did not ask for riches, God had blessed him still with riches and honor and a promise for long life to live if he faithfully obeys God. When we set our minds on things above, we are actually positioning ourselves to greater blessings from God. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” – Colossians 3:2.
What is the significance of realizing the nonpermanency of life? Because life is short, everything else in this life comes in such shortness of existence. This is the truth. The Bible teaches us the wisdom behind living for what truly matters because life is short. Moses prayed this truth a long time ago. “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” -Psalm 90:12. Moses and the Israelites understood how limited the time they have for living. We should realize the same thing too. This pandemic teaches us this very lesson. Pay attention to it and do not waste the lesson it is teaching us. Nothing is certain in this world. Only God and eternity are certain. We might as well, start living for the certainties and give more importance to these things. “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” – James 4:13-16. Finally, take this in mind. “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”– Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.