"Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found." Job 20:8
The above words were spoken by Zophar, a friend of Job, to describe the fading life of a wicked man. They have meaning also for the Christian, for the Christian is not only a saint but also a sinner. The words speak to us as the end of each day forces us to add the subtotals of our life. The question we must answer as we take stock is not so much what lies ahead but what lies behind us.
At a time like this we dwell on our weaknesses and shortcomings, our sins of omission and commission. We recall also our unrealized hopes, unfulfilled longings, frustrated ambitions, and shattered dreams. Where have we gone wrong? What has really happened to change us in ways we did not anticipate and did not want? Sometimes we can pinpoint our answers with accuracy. More often than not, the answers are vague and elusive. We are left with two impressions -- very definite and very devastating: one, we have failed; two, we are under judgment for our failure.
Now is the time to listen to and believe the word of God: "But with You there is forgiveness" (Psalm 130:4). There is forgiveness because God made His sinless Son to be sin for us "so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). That word gives us a new start for the week ahead. It bids us continue with Christian living -- with our hopes and dreams.
PRAYER: Lord, have mercy upon us. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996 (out of print), Concordia Publishing House. For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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