“And it came to pass that Sarah lived one-hundred and twenty-seven years; these are the years of Sarah.”
Isn’t it amazing that, when all of our years on earth are done, they are summed up so briefly? Behind our church there is a cemetery with rows and rows of headstones. And in most cases, the life of the person whose body is buried beneath is summarized by just a handful of words. When was this person born? When did they die? Were they married? Did they have children? And perhaps one or two things that were memorable about the person along with a passage of scripture. Such is the nature of history. Even the lives of the famous will end up being summarized in a few paragraphs in a history book or if one has led a particularly interesting or influential life, perhaps even in a biography. But again, what are the words that will fill several hundred pages of a biography in comparison to a full life lived on earth? One is tempted to claim with Solomon that it is all vanity…chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:2,17).
Yet, I would propose that Sarah understood what we often miss…that the summary of our lives is not the reason we live a life. We live a life to glorify our God. He is the one that ought be remembered; he is the one that needs to be honored. Were you to live a hundred and twenty-seven years and die in obscurity, but having glorified God with every breath, your life is of far more worth than the man who built monuments to himself and changed the scope of human history but done so to his own glory. Though earthly biographies may be written of men and women that have lived for themselves, of what value is that biography when one must live in eternity consumed by the fires of hell. Similarly, though not a word be written about my life or the life of another believer, of what importance to me will a biography be when I am in the presence of my Lord and King for all eternity? The praise of men pales in the light of the presence of my God and Savior.
And thus we have the close of Sarah’s life and so too, may our life be closed in a similar way in God’s timing. May everything that is said and done by me and about me always point toward Christ and speak of His glory. When I die, let it be Christ of whom they speak, not the man held in the Master’s hand.