Our days are numbered. That’s not a comforting thought, is it? Personally, I’m thankful I do not know what that number is for me. And I’m very grateful I did not know that my daughter’s days were numbered at 11,112. How dreadful it would have been to have that countdown in my mind for 30 years, 5 months, and 11 days and not be able to do anything about it.
I do believe that God knows the number for each of us. Just as He knows the number of hairs on our head and the number of our tears He has collected in a bottle for each of us. I find comfort in His omniscience. And I have faith that His promises of a Heavenly eternity are true. For Rachel and for me.
The Bible says Psalm 90 was written by Moses as a prayer. He recognized God’s eternal existence and how short our human life is in comparison, even if we live 70 or 80 years (verse 10). In preceding verses, Moses also acknowledged that the Israelites had sinned and turned away from God more than once, and had incurred God’s wrath as a result. So, in verse 12, Moses asks God to:
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.Psalm 90:12
How do we do this when we don’t know what that number is? We won’t know how many days we had until we’re in Heaven. And, at that point it won’t matter. So, rather than dwell on the first part of the verse, let’s realize it’s the second part that’s important – gaining a heart of wisdom. Notice Moses says a “heart” not a head of wisdom. Be wise in our feelings, our morals, our character. Reflect the example of Jesus. Treat people with kindness, charity, and love. Every day.
Because I know my days are numbered, I need to make the most of them. In a way that is pleasing to God. I know I am forgiven, but I still have a duty to live in a way that reflects that knowledge. My heart also knows the pain of loss. That’s not a welcome knowledge. It could turn me cynical or angry or faithless. I don’t want to live that way, though. Not only is it a miserable way to live, it would dishonor my daughter, her faith, and her wisdom.
When Rachel first introduced us to her future husband, I had some concerns about their age difference – he was twenty years older. I expressed my worries to her that the age difference might not seem to matter when she was a mature 30 and he was a young 50, but it could cause conflict about having children, or when she wanted to move up in her career and he wanted to retire, or . . .. Rachel stopped me and said, “Mommy, no one knows how long they will live. Just because I’m younger there’s no guarantee that I will outlive him. We are happy now and we love each other. We are willing to take whatever life together God puts in front of us.”
That’s a heart of wisdom I can only aspire to.
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