Life is Short

The following series of devotionals are taken from Dr. Tim Miller’s book, Seasons of Reflection. You can find out more about Tim’s ministry and order the book by visiting

There I sat waiting - waiting for that unmistakable crunch of deer hooves upon the brittle leaves of the forest floor. Squirrels and chipmunks scurried about spastically looking for acorns, while leaves spun recklessly to the ground joining the chaos below. Wrens and finches added to the cacophony of sounds as the sun began to set.

I sat waiting and watching. But all I saw for hours was leaves - lots and lots of leaves - brown leaves and red leaves, yellow leaves and orange leaves - beautiful leaves. Suddenly, it hit me. Wow! What a brilliant display of God’s glory!

How time flies. It seems like yesterday these same leaves were budding early in the spring. Some leaves hung tenaciously captive to their limbs as the evening breeze tried its best to set them free. Others let go rather quickly and spun to the ground. Some leaves drifted ever so slowly to their undeniable destination. Others made it half way to the forest floor only to get stuck in the fork of a tree. Where does it end - all of this spiraling, floating, blowing, drifting color? Eventually, all of them drift to the forest floor where they undergo decay. In so doing, they prepare the soil for the next generation.

Like people, leaves grow in stages. A small bud eventually grows into a leaf. But when buds are damaged by severe weather or browsing, they do not mature properly and die an early death - never finishing their intended life cycle.

Many people are like that. Due to some extreme experience during their developmental years, they never experience life the way it was intended to be lived. Consequently, they simply hang on as long as they can. Their lifestyle becomes a mere existence. Others never develop an appropriate purpose for their life and give up to the winds of difficulty. Their lives end in bitter disappointment and defeat.

Still others get stuck at the proverbial “fork in the road” and never make a definitive decision concerning their life’s direction. Their lives are brand marked by wishful thinking. Consequently, some have long since given up on any quality of life and seem to be simply drifting toward death. What a waste.

From God’s perspective, our latter years should mark the crowning purpose for one’s life. Brilliance is the goal - just like the autumn leaves display. God desires us to shine like gold toward the end of life as we did in the beginning. Babies are naturally filled with laughter and joy unless someone suppresses such. Our radiance of purpose and spiritual well-being should prepare the soil of life for the next generation. And we should do so with brilliance.

Faith in God makes it possible to do more than exist or drift in disappointment and defeat. The Grace of God empowers us to overcome the scars of our past and burst forth with renewed growth and purpose. Yes, life is short, but with God, it is never too late to begin anew. He is waiting to show forth His brilliance through you.

Challenge: Is your life drifting without purpose? Are you easily swayed by the winds of temptation? Are you leaving behind a legacy of spiritual brilliance and beauty for the next generation or mere religion? All of us will give an account for how we lived our lives.

Thought: I wonder if the angels can see the difference in believers as they slowly drift toward eternal life. I wonder when they observe individuals if they sometimes say, “Wow, look at that one! What a brilliant display of God’s glory!”

We will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written, “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God. So then, each of us will give an account to God.” (Romans 14:10-12)

Posted by Tim E. Miller

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