It seems like yesterday when we entered 2017, doesn’t it? All too soon we are in August—the eight month– leaving us with just four months to close 2017 should Christ tarry. As I ponder over this, I’m reminded of three experiences over the weekend which made a strong impression on me as to how fleeting life is.
Firstly, on Saturday, I visited my in-laws — my elder sister’s husband’s family— to express my condolences for the loss of a family member. On the day she died, she complained of body weakness and fever. She was sent to the hospital at midday and by evening she was gone. Then on Sunday evening, I attended a family dinner to commemorate the wedding of my brother-in-law. At the dinner, my father-in-law expressed shock when he saw our one year, eight months old boy. He still has memories of him as an infant since the last time he saw him; he said. Time does fly.
Earlier that Sunday, my wife and my father-in-law had travelled to Ho for a naming ceremony in the morning. The day before the journey, I had vehemently protested against her driving for the journey. The truth is that, I was scared of her driving especially since that was her first time on that road and also because of the numerous fatal accidents that had been recorded on that road. At the back of my mind, anything could happen, including death. After a long discussion, I finally gave in and reluctantly agreed for her to drive. They took the journey and thanks to God returned safely.
In these experiences, we are confronted with the truths about two life events — birth and death. Once we are born, we will die. And death comes unannounced. This reality must shape how we spend our pilgrimage on earth. Moses prayed a prayer in Psalm 90 which came to mind while I pondered through these events over the weekend. And I will want us to together examine this prayer and make it our prayer:
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)
The Eternity Of God
The Israelites have have been wandering in the wilderness enroute to the Promised land since they set off from Egypt. A lot has happened during these times. In verses 1-11 of Psalm 90, Moses acknowledged God’s hand and presence in their sojourning all these years. He says in v.1 that “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.” This is an affirmation of God as the Israelites’ very existence. Indeed God is the Creator to whom we owe our lives. Without him; we are doomed. It is appropriate therefore that we look to God for direction.
Moses’ prayer was an invitation to God to teach them the way of life. It was a prayer of dependence on God. God created us and until we have learnt to depend on him, we will forever live a self-destructive life. It was St Augustine, in his Confessions who said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” What place has God in your life? Are you living to please yourself or you acknowledge there is a God who made you and you live to please him?
Life Is Fleeting
Life is short. We are not here to stay forever (Heb.9:27). We are on borrowed time. Human life is so fragile; like leaves, today we are, tomorrow we are gone: “You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers” (Ps.90:5). Moses, not oblivious of humanity’s frailty prayed God to give them wisdom to number their days. This is a prayer not to be wasteful of the few days humankind has on earth. Our days are limited and we must not lose sight of this. Every passing day brings us close to eternity.
Wisdom is the right application of the knowledge we possess. When we pray for God to teach us to number our days; we are in effect praying for wisdom. We see this clearly in Moses’ prayer: “that we may get a heart of wisdom”. Proverbs 90:10 tells us “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Do you fear God? Do you have a relationship with him or you are only living your life to please your self? Repent and turn to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and a restored relationship with God. This my dear friend is the wisest decision you can make and you ought not wait a second longer. Christ is near. Call on him.
In the New Testament, James tells us that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God. ” He didn’t stop at that; he assured us that that prayer would be answered: [God] gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:5). Paul in his letter to the Ephesians admonished them saying “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph.5:15-16 KJV).
Your life is not your own. You are accountable to God who made you. How are you living in this temporal life? Is it for God or for self?