Skip to main content
Fire of GodHope

The Brevity of Life

By April 13, 2022November 9th, 20236 Comments

The Brevity of Life


“Remember how short my time is!”
Psalm 89:47 (ESV)

David, the aged one, in prayer to His God cries out from the realization of his own fleeting life here on earth. With age should come wisdom and the fear of the Lord. Youth considers little the shortness of life. David in his later years still feels the inward fire of God to make Him known to all. The awareness of his brevity of life increases his desire to make known the power, glory, and wonder of his God.

“Remember how short my time is!”

To those who feel the internal power of grace, life has but one purpose: to communicate the One whom they have seen in the “sanctuary” of their intimate time with God to those who are without.

“To see Thy power and Thy glory,
so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary”
Psalm 63:2

David called this passing world a barren and dry land in comparison to the “power and glory” of what he had seen in the secret place with his God. Those who have truly touched this place, though aware of their own finite and temporal state in this life, carry the eternal desire to make Him known. It is the conundrum of true-life beating within a fragile earthen vessel. David as he is aging is caught between the passion of life within and the passing of life without. It is the angst of the temporal holding the eternal. Paul expresses this same sentiment.

“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”
Philippians 1:23

The need to see the life of Christ established and glorified on the earth overshadowed his desire to “be with Christ” in heavenly places. The realization of life’s brevity and the growing darkness of the hour press those who are His into a final surge of their remaining resources.

“Yes, even when I am old and gray-haired, God, don’t forsake me, until I have declared your strength to the next generation, your might to everyone who is to come.”
Psalm 71:18

David’s desire for longevity was not based on his own selfish ends. His aspiration for life was intrinsically united with the eternal desire to make Him known. It is at the end of the journey that the true character of the faith that resides in a life is revealed.

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death”
Philippians 1:20

Paul ends this passionate declaration with the capstone of his life’s purpose:

“For to me to live is Christ,
and to die is gain”
Philippians 1:21



I have yet to touch in fulness the fire which raged in Paul of “for me to live is Christ”; but I continue to pursue it relentlessly. The one consolation is that regardless of my many shortcomings the fire still burns within. We can take encouragement from the Proverb that declares “The fire goes out where there is no wood”. The burning of the fire of the Holy Spirit within, though not to the fulness, can only burn if the Holy Oil is its fuel. Let us be encouraged (all those of my generation who know of this fire) to seek Him that our last contribution may be sufficient for the next generation to finish where we have fallen short.

Brian Troxel


Leave a Reply