Each one of us had a day on which we were born into this world. In the future, we all will have a departure date, too. When Peter wrote a letter to Christians living in the first century, he appealed to them to show proper respect in their lives. When? The apostle called it during “the time of your stay here” (1 Peter 1:17). From birth to our exit from this world, that is the time of our earthly journey/“stay.”
During our stay on earth, we have certain material blessings, while we lack others. We possess some abilities, but are weak in other areas.
While living in this world, you and I may not have the best physical health. Timothy had frequent infirmities (1 Timothy 5:23), but he was a loyal disciple of Jesus. You and I can be, too.
In this world, you and I may not be in the category of people whose attractive faces are on the cover of fashion magazines. That should not cause us any sadness, for the Lord looks on a person’s heart, not his/her outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7).
In this life, we may not be considered as a rich person. There is nothing wrong with that. At times, Jesus of Nazareth lacked a place to lay His head (Luke 9:58). It is a whole lot more important to be rich in faith (James 2:5) and good works (1 Timothy 6:18) than it is to be rich with material goods.
While living on earth, you and I may not receive the best secular education that is available to humans. Not to worry. God had a place in His service for shepherds like David (1 Samuel 17:34) and Amos (Amos 7:14), as well as fishermen like John and James (Mark 1:19,20).
In this world, you and I may not be the most famous people, even in our own community. There is nothing wrong with being relatively unknown among humans. Jesus knows His sheep (John 10:27), so we ought to be most concerned about Him knowing us.
You and I may go through our entire lives and never be nominated by our fellow man to receive an award for “The Most Popular Person.” Remember, the Master said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you” (Luke 6:26), so being popular is not a priority for a person who is devoted to serving King Jesus.
If we have the opportunity in this life to take exams which measure our intelligence or our level of preparation for studies in a university, we may not receive the highest marks or be labeled as “geniuses.” However, a person does not show true wisdom by performing well on a standardized examination, but by obeying what Jesus says (Matthew 7:24,25).
While living in this world, you and I may not have great athletic ability. We should not let that bother us. Our greatest interest should be in running well the spiritual race/course that has been set before us (Hebrews 12:1), and we want to finish strong like Paul did (2 Timothy 4:6,7).
In this life, we may not be privileged to travel around the world to see to the world’s most beautiful sights. We can, however, humbly serve the Lord and prepare ourselves to “see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). “Face to Face with Christ our Savior,” how breathtaking that will be!
In this world, we may not drive the most expensive and prestigious vehicle. In fact, we may not ever own a motorized vehicle of any type throughout our whole lives. That should not cause us to shed tears. Enoch and Elijah lived their entire lives on earth without a motorcycle, car, or truck, yet God took both of them.
Have you dreamed of living in a mansion on earth? Many do. There is nothing wrong with living in a huge house, but there also is nothing wrong with living in a cramped apartment or a tiny tent. We read in the Bible about some tent-dwellers who had their sights set on a heavenly home, and God was not ashamed to be called their God (Hebrews 11:9,10,16). That sounds like having a nice material house is not on the Lord’s list of requirements.
Many feel embarrassed because they look at themselves as people who have no special talents. In this world, you and I may not be talented in a number of earthly activities, but each of us can use the talents which the Lord has placed in our hands. In fact, He wants us to be faithful stewards in using whatever He has placed in our hands, whether it is much or little (1 Corinthians 4:2). That includes our abilities.
In this life, we may lack many things. With a soul-saving faith, though, heaven will be our eternal home.
— Roger D. Campbell