Teach Us to Number Our Days
This was written by my pastor.
“So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
This last month has been especially challenging as we have experienced the deaths of several members and family of members. As I have met with families, prepared funeral services, and been involved in officiating them, I have once again been reminded of some biblical truths that we don’t often think about in our daily lives. We live in a society and in an age in which death has all but been removed from the conscience experience of our culture. My dad once commented about his grandmother’s death and how she lived with his family in the last days of her life and he (at a very young age) was able to witness her taking her last breath. Needless to say, that made an impact on him and brought him face to face with the reality of death as a common consequence of all of mankind (Rom 6:23).
Today, few if any ever see such an occurrence in their life. Our culture is fixated on waging war against aging and natural decline. More than any culture before, we spend huge amounts of time, energy, and money on maintaining or securing physical health and keeping aging at bay. Consider all the money spent on plastic surgery, makeup, and all manner of ointments, salves, pills, and treatments developed to fight varicose veins, sagging jowls, wrinkles, hair loss, etc.
The desire of this world is to lengthen our days, secure our happiness, and stabilize our self-worth. But the Psalmist in Psalm 90 says, “teach us to number our days, that we may present to You (God) a heart of wisdom.” We are called not to try and push the boundaries of our physical existence but to live each day with sobriety and wisdom, knowing that God has ordained every one of them, “when as yet there was not one of them” (Psalm 139:16).
Job says in Job 14:5, that the days of man are determined and the number of our months established by God. The statement that “our days are numbered” is a threat and assault to the mind of the unbeliever, but to those of us who know Christ, the truth of God’s sovereignty over our lives proves a great comfort. It is true that our lives are but a mere breath, a passing shadow, a vapor that is here today and gone tomorrow (Psalm 144:4; James 4:14). But, it is also true that our lives rest in the capable hands of a Good and Gracious Father who desires that His children grow in His likeness.
So we ask God to teach us to number our days, to make the most of each day, to take advantage of each opportunity (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5), to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and strive to run the race set before us with endurance (Hebrews 12:1). Having been filled with joy and peace because of what God has accomplished for us through Christ, we are therefore free to live for Him every single moment of every single day!
For all who believe, eternal life does not begin at death, it began when God caused us to be born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3) when we who were alienated from God were reconciled to Him through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in our place (Col 1:21-22) and therefore now are able to know and love God (John 17:3). How we live in this life does matter, and God has called us to be conformed daily to the image of Christ as we read, memorize, study, and meditate on His Word. He calls us to commune with Him through prayer and to gather together with other believers corporately to worship God and use our gifts for the edification of the Body.
May each one of us live with this kind of heavenly mindset, knowing that while our days our numbered, they are also purposed by God for His glory and our good. May such truth motivate us to live for Christ today and everyday!