James 4:14 (b) What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Back in school, there is this specific day I was very excited about. We had just concluded KASNEB exams and it was time to refresh. The university had organized a 4-day tour to Kisumu and this being the first time to ever be on western Kenya, I was so damn happy.
But the night of the day before departure I lost money in my house. This money included the 4,500 kshs we were supposed to pay for the tour and there was no way I could get another one because I was not independent. The disappointment on that day stills hits me when I remember. One week later I found the money nicely stuck inside a shoe I had not worn for a longtime!
This corona-virus pandemic has brought with it similar disappointments. Only this time it has happened to everyone. Hundreds of thousands of very important events, games, weddings, retreats, dates, birthday parties, international meetings, political rallies, road trips, flights ( just to mention but a few) have been put on hold. Even funnier how people who are never used to staying indoors are now managing it. And this brings me to my point. We can only plan. But we don’t have control over those plans.
We certainly don’t know what the next year—or hour—will bring. In his epistle, James wrote about this uncertainty. He rebuked the greedy merchants for boasting about what they would do that day, the next day, or even the next year (4:13). Their sin wasn’t that they were making plans; it was forgetting God and arrogantly boasting about those business plans.
James reminded them: “What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (v.14). James was pointing out their foolishness and saying, in essence, “Come now, you who make plans—you don’t even understand how little control you have over life itself.”
No part of life is outside the control of God. So when we make plans, we need to remember, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (v.15).