“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12, New King James Version).
Many of us are very uncomfortable in talking about our mortality. Deep inside we know we have a limited number of days on earth, but we prefer to go through life as if we have all the time in the world. Death is something we just don’t want to think about or plan for. A recent survey showed that sixty percent of us have no will or estate plan. While most agree it’s necessary, the main reason given is, “I haven’t gotten around to it.” Perhaps this is why we should follow Psalm 90:12 and “number our days.”
Why is it important to number our days? And just what does that mean?
- Numbering our days means we acknowledge how fleeting life is .
Recognizing life’s brevity allows us to maintain the right perspective on how to best live our days. We seek to develop an eternal perspective. We touch so many others during our lifetime, whether intentional or not. By seeking God’s wisdom on how to live, we make decisions that will honor God and fulfill His plan for our lives. We choose to live life in the best way possible, and this becomes a witness to those around us.
“So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (II Corinthians 4:18, Christian Standard Bible).
- Numbering our days motivates us to make the most of our time.
A sweet older friend, probably in her late eighties at that point, confided, “I’ve got so many things I want to accomplish yet in life that I don’t think I will live long enough to do them all.” She wasn’t being melancholy at all. She looked forward to all the exciting things still ahead for her. And, yes, she lived several more years—enough time to complete some of those exciting things. Her life made an impact on many others, even during her declining years. She lived Ecclesiastes 9:10.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (NKJV).
- Numbering our days allows us to finish well.
The apostle Paul’s words in II Timothy 4:7 challenge me. Paul is now at the end of his life, ready to cross the finish line. In looking back, he can honestly feel he has numbered his days well. It was a good fight, a well-run race. He fulfilled his purpose. My frequent prayer is to also finish well. With God’s wisdom and my eye on the eternal, I can.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (NKJV).
Prayer: Lord, I recognize that life is fleeting at best, and anything I wish to accomplish for You must be done now. Give me wisdom to live my life in the best way possible and to accomplish Your purpose for my life. Help me to fix my eyes on things eternal. Guide my steps, steady me, and help me to finish my race victoriously.