My daylilies are just beginning to bloom this season. This week I’ve seen two of my three varieties open up. The third may be a couple of weeks behind.
Although daylilies are perennials, they don’t seem to be permanent. I’ve had several other beautiful varieties over the years but they died out. The impermanence also applies to the flowers they produce.
They add a nice touch to a garden display, but as the name implies, each blossom lasts only one day. Fortunately, a single stalk will produce several buds that open in succession. But it still feels like an outrageous extravagance. A big, beautiful flower that opens and closes on the same day! Morning to evening, it has only one day to shine – to fulfill its purpose. Then it’s gone.
As I get older, time seems to fly by. My husband had brain surgery a year ago this week. The “new” sofa is four years old. I can’t believe I retired five years ago. Ten years, twenty years, forty years are gone in the blink of an eye.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. -2 Peter 3:8
I don’t mean to take that verse out of context because it speaks about the coming of “the Day of the Lord.” For all that Day will entail, you may dread it, fear it, or welcome it, but He is working everything within His Divine plan to fulfill it. Nothing can thwart it. The amount of time it takes means nothing on God’s timetable.
Our timeless, eternal God has placed us on this earth for a very short time to fulfill the purposes for which He created us. Our lifespan is a blink of the eye. One brief life lived a few decades to be who God creates us to be and do what God intends us to do.
Are you fulfilling your purpose?
Instead of feeling the extraordinary weight of that responsibility and wrestling with the uncertainty of what it means, I believe our loving God has provided a simple way to live into it, one day at a time.
But first, God’s call to us is to come and surrender our lives to Him. We might describe this act in several ways. Some call it being saved or deciding to follow Jesus. Some say they gave their heart to Him. Others tell about turning their will over to the Lord and saying, “Thy will be done.” I’ve also heard people call it dying to self and letting the Holy Spirit live in them. It’s making Jesus the Lord of our lives or simply becoming a Christian. It’s all of these. Through daily prayer, we commit and re-commit our lives to Him and His service.
You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. – James 4:14
If my life belongs to Him, and His Spirit is at work changing me, I can trust Him to use me. Sometimes I think I know when that happens, but often I may be unaware of how and when it transpires. For sure, this is not a perfect process since I still have a reluctant or rebellious streak. I’ve produced plenty of wood, hay, and stubble. But I know He uses me in spite of myself.
“One day at a time,” as the slogan goes. I have to pace myself, since it’s all I can handle. If I mess up today, I’ll probably have tomorrow to try again. One day, one life, one thousand years. The grace of God is greater than time itself.
I want to close with the chorus to a song written by Lanny Wolfe in the early 1970s. Even in my 20s it meant a lot to me.
“Only one life, so soon it will pass. Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one chance to do His will. So give to Jesus all your days.
It’s the only life that pays, when you recall you have but one life.”
A daylily has one day, so it must be enough. We have one life, so it must be enough.
Sorry I couldn’t fix the song chorus. I couldn’t get the edit function to work properly.