By Megan Low, Singapore
What is permanent? What is certain? What can we be sure of in this temporary phase, this transient
existence, this passing reality we call life? If we were to strip away the material things, what sureties would be left behind? When almost everything in this drifting reality is merely an illusion or undefined variable at best, what are the absolutes?
Since I graduated from university and the education phase of life, I’ve woken up to several new realities as I’m sure many others have likewise experienced. Growing up has ambushed me—particularly in the area of
learning how to sustain myself in this crowded, crazy world, not just pertaining to accommodation, chores
and utilities, but also mentally, physically, and emotionally. Seriously, I didn’t know what I took for granted until I no longer had it, from the major to the minor things needed for survival.
Viewpoints had to change. I had to mature. Having blissfully postponed the making of my weightiest decisions for the past umpteen years, I came to realize the numerous uncertainties that are present not
only in my own life, but in life itself. It’s no wonder my thoughts are so fraught with questions.
Our future is uncertain. We could start off on one career path but end up in a completely different place
from where we first set out—in somewhere we never expected. Our relationships are uncertain. I won’t
know how many romantic relationships we might have before we find the person God has in store for us—
if we do, that is—nor how close or far our friendships might drift during the course of our lifetime. Even
our families could disown us for various reasons. Health is uncertain. The same goes for wealth and even
security. In as little as a split second of time, everything we ever knew could become drastically different from what we anticipated. Unlikely, but not impossible.
What, then, is certain in this world? In my sober reflections on this transient existence we call life, there are only two things we can be certain of: birth and death. Heard of life expectancy? Human life is all too fragile, so not everyone reaches it. Notice something? Life isn’t certain. I’m sure that we can be born and die without really lived, because living is different from just existing. And often we are so caught up in this cycle of struggling to prevail in our ideal journeys of existence that until the end of our days, we have missed out on living.
There is, however, something that we know is truly lasting. Amidst all these uncertainties in this transient existence we have, God’s love for us is absolute. It might sound too good to be true, but it is true. Defying human logic, God’s unfailing love for us—sinners who deserve His abhorence—never ceases, illustrated here. Ancient as the galaxy (2 Timothy 1:9) yet new every morning (Lamentations 3:23), God’s steadfast love is the one thing we can celebrate in the good days and cling to in the tough years, because a life without it is truly a bleak, transient existence.
Jesus’s sacrifice is the greatest evidence of the strength of that love for us. The whole Bible is a love letter God has given to us, sharing with us the depth of His grace toward us. Christ came so “that [we] may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV). He came to grant us peace—real peace of heart and mind (John 14:27). He will provide for us (Philippians 4:19). The love He has for us is true and eternal—for this life as well as the next (Jeremiah 31:3).
Such truths lift us up during weary trials. Because He lives, we can rest in God’s love for us, having been made right with God through His death (Ephesians 2:8). Because He loves us, this transient existence, this temporary phase, is never in vain.