Hevel? Have you ever heard this word? I hadn’t until the last few months. If we open the book of Ecclesiastes its the word that often gets translated as “vanity” or “meaningless,” yet hevel translates to something that means much more to me. Hevel might include vanity or meaningless, but it is what doesn’t last. Hevel is fleeting, its here today and gone tomorrow, like a mist.
We’ve seen a lot of hevel in 2020. There was this world, I never saw changing. We did the same things year in and year out, and if I’m being honest, I began to rely on hevel. I began to trust in the calendar and the traditions. I began to live in the daily appointments and sign ups, commitments and extracurricular.
There was always tomorrow. There was always something to plan, until March 2020; suddenly, nothing was a given. Life stopped. Those planned moments were just gone. There was no given timeline to live in, we were just waiting, with no idea when life would start up again. Surely one more month and then life is normal, surely a few more weeks, surely, surely just kept going.
I was reminded of what I’m told in the Bible. What lasts isn’t of this world.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Now I’m living Biblically, because when my kids ask about something happening in the future, I say, I don’t know and we will see what happens. Its a hard place to live unless you are standing firm.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Building our lives in Christ means in the midst of a global pandemic, we are standing firm because our confidence isn’t, or shouldn’t be in the details of this world. This world is temporary. We are living for something greater than the minutia of life on earth.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
2020 revealed that many of us weren’t living out what we say we believed in. We were in fact storing up treasures on earth instead of living for the life after this one.
It was hevel that we were expecting to last instead of realizing and walking in the knowledge that things and moments aren’t forever.
That can be physical things or seasons in life. Do we take the moments with our kids, spouse, parents, friends and other family for granted? Do we life like we have another day for fill in the blank, or do we life like we only have today?
Let's take a look arund and ask what is hevel and what is lasting? Are we treating hevel like hevel or hevel like everlasting?
Before I leave you today, let me offer one more thought on the topic. Some days I find myself saying, "God, I'm over this life stuff, just take me home to heaven! I'm done with the hevel, I just want you!" Can you relate with that? I think most Christians can.
We are reminded that even though this life isn’t forever, our days are purposed. Part of longing for what lasts past this earth, is understanding the connection of eternity with the hevel in the relationships with our fellow man. All of us were made in the image of God, but not all of us know the life-changing love of Jesus. We need to be depositing into those around us. That is storing up treasures in heaven like we read in the Matthew passage above.
This world is bigger than each of us as individuals, when you lose hope, look out to your fellow man and remember God has a purpose for us! Blessings this week.