My life is but a breath.
In October of 1989, a sportswriter by the name of William Nack leans against a wall in his hotel room and sobs. He’s heard some news. A racehorse by the name of “Secretariat” is dead.
Flashback. It is the summer of 1973. Secretariat has taken the United States by storm. So thrilling and dominant are his victories that, in one week, he makes the cover of Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, and Time. And through it all, a young William Nack is right there as a sportswriter, covering the races, talking to the owner, talking to the trainer, talking to the jockeys and grooms. He has a front-row seat to history in the making, and he knows it.
But now the great Secretariat is dead, and William Nack sobs. He later explains why. It’s not just his respect for the horse or Secretariat’s place in history. It’s personal. Secretariat, he says, reminds him of a short era in his life when he had no real heartaches, no real griefs, no big problems. When Secretariat died, he realized those days were over and how quickly they had come and gone.
Do you ever have a moment like that? You hear about the passing of a famous figure, and somehow the news hits you hard. What hits you, however, is not so much the passing itself of the famous figure, but the era in your life that that figure represents. In that moment, you experience a jarring truth: My time on this earth is short. The days come and go. Or, as Job said, “My life is but a breath.”
Sin has done that, of course—your sin and mine. It brings heartache, problems, and grief to the few days we are on this earth. It also brings death.
But that’s why Jesus came. The eternal Son of God invaded our broken world of short, passing days. On our behalf, he lived the sinless life you and I have failed to live. At the cross, he suffered and died for our every wrong. Then he rose. And now, everyone whose faith is in him stands forgiven and inherits eternal life. And the best days are yet to come.
Lord Jesus, my life here is but a breath, but in you the best days are still to come. Thank you. Amen.