My youngest grandson is only two months old, yet every time I see him I notice little changes. Recently, as I cooed to him, he looked up at me and smiled! And suddenly I began crying. Perhaps it was joy mixed with remembering my own children’s first smiles, which I witnessed so long ago, and yet it feels like just yesterday. Some moments are like that—inexplicable.
In Psalm 103, David penned a poetic song that praised God while also reflecting on how quickly the joyful moments of our lives pass by: “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone” (vv. 15–16).
But despite acknowledging the brevity of life, David describes the flower as flourishing, or thriving. Although each individual flower blossoms and blooms swiftly, its fragrance and color and beauty bring great joy in the moment. And even though an individual flower can be quickly forgotten—“its place remembers it no more” (v. 16)—by contrast we have the assurance that “from everlasting to everlasting the
We, like flowers, can rejoice and flourish in the moment; but we can also celebrate the truth that the moments of our lives are never truly forgotten. God holds every detail of our lives, and His everlasting love is with His children forever!
In what way can you flourish in this moment? How can you bring joy to another?
In Psalm 103 David celebrates God’s compassion. Comparing the love of God to the love of a father, he writes that the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. David doesn’t mean that God is merciful to those who are afraid of Him, as though God were watching to make sure everyone “toes the line.” Instead, “fear” in this sense is both a proper understanding of and attitude toward someone worthy of respect. God shows His love to those who fear Him, to those who understand and worship Him in reverence.
We might tend to think it’s our fear that garners God’s compassion. However, David, in poetic expression, tells us that compassion originates with God. Far from being a response to our recognition of who He is, it’s God’s response to who we are—dust. God has compassion on us because we are nothing but dust.