May 23, 2016

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Several things about this Psalm are very interesting. In the first place, it’s the only one we have that claims to be by Moses. That in itself makes it somewhat amusing that verse 10 says human lifespan is 80 years, when Moses didn’t start leading the Israelites out of Egypt until he was 80, and he died at 120. However, he did have the insight to realize, as verse 4 says, that time is largely irrelevant to God, since He is the Creator of it all. That makes this verse all the more poignant. It’s not that we need to know exactly how long we will live; it’s really better that we don’t. Rather, it is important to realize that our time here is limited, and so make the best use of however much time we have. That actually is part of the “fear of the Lord” that is mentioned so many times in the Bible. I’m reminded of an article I read yesterday about how Maine cuts off welfare payments after 5 years, and what a good impact that has made on the citizens and the state as a whole. When people understand they don’t have forever, they get off their duff and do something! That’s a lesson we all need to learn. The devil and the world never tire of offering us distractions, so if we aren’t careful, we waste the time, abilities, energy, and everything else the Lord has provided. There is a tremendous difference between a long life and a life well lived. This isn’t a matter of “accomplishments,” as the world looks at it, but of fulfilling the purpose for which we were created. That is, learning to walk in intimate fellowship with our Creator and acting as His instrument, His representative to those around us. God always gives us enough time to accomplish that, if we will make it our goal and our focus.

This is an area where I still have plenty of room to grow. I am quite susceptible to distractions! I have another book in the works, but I think of it in fits and starts, and often not at all. I need to let God set my priorities, and I know already that means less Internet time! I work with people of all ages and have buried several, and so I know that sometimes we are given notice that our time is short, and sometimes not. I’ve already outlived my father by several years, which should be reason enough for me to make the best use of each day. I’ve never been much at setting goals, but I need to have the goal each day of using that day as God intends and not wasting it, so that all of God’s plans for me may be fulfilled on His schedule, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this strong reminder. Help me pay attention and not let things slide! May I be driven, not in fear but in love, for You and for Your children, Your Creation, so that, submitted to You, I may resist the devil’s efforts to get me off track, however successful they might have been in the past. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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