I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.–John 17:4
Isn’t it strange–no one wants to get old, but when they do they want to get as old as possible. They say, “Getting old ain’t so bad compared to the alternative”. When someone dies earlier than normal we often say their life was “cut-short”, or “what a shame”, or it isn’t fair”, etc. We act as though success depends on longevity. Truth is that we don’t have to live three-score and ten to be successful. The story of Jesus teaches us this valuable lesson. I love the observation, regarding our text, made by J. R. Miller in 1895.
Jesus is the only man who has ever lived—so as to be able to say this!
The best lives are but fragments, leaving many things unfinished. Yet we ought to take a lesson from Christ’s finishing of His work. He did it, simply by doing each day—the will of His Father for the day.
He was a young man when He died—only thirty-three. We think of those who die young—as dying before their work is completed. We learn, however, that even a young man, dying, may leave a finished work.
The truth is, enough years are given to each one—in which to do our ‘allotted work’. Even a baby that lives only a day, merely looking into the mother’s eyes and then going away, does the work that was given it to do. The young man who dies at thirty-three, with his hands full of tasks—if only he has lived faithfully, has finished the work which God gave him to do. Not years—but faithfulness, counts with God!