My existence.....why?



Friday, November 10, 2017


Dear Friends:

David asked this question in Psalm 144:  “Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath;  their days are like a fleeting shadow.”


This is the existential question I have suffered with since I was a small child.  What am I that God cares at all?  Am I not, in reality, little more than something God called into existence out of nothing, and in truth little more than a vapor—a breath…..a fleeting shadow.   For whatever reason, that thought caused me to jump out of bed at night and walk around the house when I was very young. Something about the notion that I was merely God’s imagination and not really “my own” still gives me anguish some evenings.


As I write this I must confess that I have never been successful in eloquently or properly articulating this struggle, but I think that David had the same question and doubt from time to time, because he speaks of it more than once in the Psalms.  Why do we matter to God?  What’s the point of it all?


But in that question comes what gives me peace in my inner struggle of my existence.  The fact that He DOES care about me suggests that something about me is precious and unique to Him.  If I were simply a vapor that could be re-created a billion times over until the perfect “me” were called into existence, why would God send His Son to suffer, endure humiliation on a cross and die for “this” me?


Quite clearly, I matter to God—and so does every other soul reading this devotion.  We matter not because God cannot do without us, but because He does not WANT to go one without us. He loves me—-and that’s what undoes all the false illusions of me being merely a breath or a shadow.  God cares about me (and you) enough to have prepared something for us, from the foundation of the earth, that we cannot fully imagine, but what will be ours once we are brought into His Kingdom! 


As so, like Paul, I can say that the pains and trials I undergo on this earth are nothing when compared to what He has prepared for those (like me!) that love Him.  This turns my existential queries into an exciting adventure of preparing for the unimaginable bliss in the soon to be eternal life that lies before me!  Yes, ever so often I have the same childhood existential attacks about my life, my soul, my very consciousness!  But the closer I draw to Him….the more He speaks to me….the more He gives me glimpses of the glory to come, the less I am afraid.



dean  barley,

Dean Barley


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