October 1, 2010 • By Ed Wrather
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed - always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you. - 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 NKJV.
Edward Rosenthal went for a little hike in Joshua Tree National Park in California. It was supposed to be just a one-day kind of a hike, but it lasted six days, because he got lost. Edward had made some good progress making it six to seven miles outside of the original search area. He made good progress, but he just kept going in the wrong direction. When searchers found Edward, he did have some injuries, and was suffering somewhat from exposure. He had become so sure that he would not ever make it back home that he began to write notes on his hat to his family and business partners. His last entry prior to being found was, “Still here.” Edward's wife Nicole, believes that his rescue and survival was miraculous.
Some of our lives are a little like Edward Rosenthal's six day ordeal. How is that? We think we are making good progress, although we have no idea where we are headed, or when we will arrive. If someone charted our lives, it might look like a large fish that has been thrown up on a beach or pulled into a fishing boat; still alive, but flopping around all over the place. We are still here, still alive, still kicking as some would say, but what are we doing with our lives?
The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4 that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels....” We need to ask ourselves what we are doing with this treasure, which is now inside of the “earthen vessels” of our lives. Are we frittering it away using up the time on things of absolutely no eternal value? Even worse, are we using our time hindering those who would live their lives in a meaningful way?
If we have lived very long upon this earth, no matter who we are, or where we live, we have gone through some difficult times of one kind or another. Edward Rosenthal went through a horrific six days of being lost and when he wrote he was “Still here” it meant something. I don't know what Edward is going to do with the rest of his life; however, I do know that he and his wife will treasure the remaining time that they do have together. Does it mean anything to you that you are still here? Is that of any value to you? It ought to mean something that you have lived life for the years that you have lived. It ought to mean something that you have survived all this time. Life is a gift. A gift that is cut short for countless people every year through illness, injuries, accidents, even by being lost out in a wilderness area.
Tomorrow when you wake up make a fresh start. Praise God for giving you your life and for all He has brought you through. Then, sit down and talk to your God about how He wants you to use the incredible treasure that your life is, while you are still here on this earth.