People often ask each other, “So, what are you up to these days?” “How’s life?” or “What are you doing with yourself these days?” We know we are supposed to do something with the lives we have been given, but we’re not exactly sure what that something is or how to make it happen.
Life is a gift that God continually pours out upon us. Behind each of these questions and thoughts is the hidden assumption that life is something that is given to us, something we are stewards of. Yet we often assume life is just there without understanding why. It sounds cliché, but life is truly a gift. Our entire existence has been given to us and is continually gifted to us. The Spirit of God has breathed life into us as a gift to be cherished in our hearts so that we might praise God with that breath (Gen. 2:7).
Life can become uncertain when we forget this grand gesture of God. We often struggle with what to do with ourselves because we so easily forget that God was not compelled to give us so many good things—including our very lives and the air we breathe. Ingratitude easily fills our hearts and all we want is more, thinking that once we have something or someone in our possession, life will really be ours.
Remarkably, when we do forget God’s goodness and kindness to us, he continually pours grace upon grace so that we might turn from our ingratitude and live in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 2:4). God has endured much to make known to you and to me the riches of his glory. Before we could do good or evil, God prepared us to be vessels of mercy for his glory and our eternal good (Rom. 8:22–23). Life is not precarious or purposeless.
Life is given to us again as a free gift in Jesus so we might live the life we were meant to live. Jesus reminds us that the one who comes as a thief to steal the gift of life paradoxically destroys what he seeks. That is the sad puzzle of life. The one who tries to gain life by his own will and strength ends up losing it, but the one who loses himself to God finds his life and true happiness in Jesus (John 10:7–18). Once we let go of ourselves and give our lives to God, we are “re-gifted” life as it was meant to be and beyond what we could ever hope it to be. For we have now been made stewards of an eternal kingdom. We have been given a grace that far surpasses the normal questions of life but nevertheless gives new meaning to these questions as something far more important than we could ever realize.