[CF Devotionals] 2006-12-23 - Counting Days

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

There are many grades in the "school of wisdom." One of the advanced grades is to know that our days are but short. It is here where we show a true understanding of the balance between the shortness of this present life, and the days of eternity that are without number. The one who can understand and apply this knowledge will have priorities that are in accord with divine knowledge. To do God's will, to patiently endure the hardships of this life willingly, and still rest, trust, and hope in the graciousness of the Lord is a lesson that few ever really learn. But it is here where the center of having a heart of wisdom really is.

To understand the measure of our days is something few ever do. It is easy for us to focus on the here and now and become caught up in externals. Life is a gift. No days are guaranteed and we are wise to take this truth to heart and use our days with care. The heart of wisdom is not tied to the world knowing that not only is the world passing, but we will be passing soon from it. Wisdom has a vision toward that which is greater than those things that we so easily see. It looks beyond the now and has a hope for that which is unseen. It is a hard perspective to obtain and this is why the Psalmist rightly calls this wisdom.

Have we ever really considered the frailty of the human condition? May the Lord give us the grace to understand how few our days really are. It is easy to live in a world of denial, but the reality is that we live in a world of shortness of time and uncertainty. The nearness of the approach of death and eternity is something that everyone reading these words faces at this very moment. Doing the math is instructive. Many died yesterday, many will die today, but they are no more dead or less dead than someone who died 1000 years ago. Both have gone to eternity. Lord, teach us to number our days.

This matter requires our attention. The wise man or woman, having eternity in mind, seeking to live the best kind of life, while life is prolonged, has a heart panting after Jesus Christ. In the light of eternity nothing but commitment to, and faithfulness towards the Lord Jesus Christ can be called a life of wisdom. We still have responsibilities, and worldly cares, but these all take their proper place within the wise heart that is centered in Christ. Christ has offered escape from the just wrath of God for our sin. How wise it is to live with a view to this blessed inheritance of both freedom from sin and the standing that is now possessed as children of God.

Really only the child of God can understand these things. But the free call of grace is for all who will seek it. Mercy and forgiveness, life and blessedness are for all who come to Christ in faith. This is the wisdom of numbering our days; to do so with a view to Christ and eternity. In Scripture we are promised, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved," Acts 2:21.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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