Saturday, July 19, 2014

Limited days

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 139:13-24

TO CHEW ON: "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them." Psalm 139:16

There is nothing like being in the presence of impending death to give one a sense of how much of life is out of one's control. About two years before he died, my brother's diagnosis of untreatable cancer had us all wondering how his life would play out. Would the doctor's diagnosis prove as fatal as it sounded, or would God give a miracle of healing? When, in July of 2010 he took a turn for the worse, we hurried to be by his side. Would this be the end? He soldiered on for six more months after that. None of us, not even his wife and children who were with him every day, could predict exactly when or how he would die.

Though such a limitation may make us feel frustrated, it is also a source of comfort when viewed within the context of God's knowledge and power. David refers to God's knowledge of our lifespan several times in this psalm:

"You know my sitting down and my rising up" (vs. 2).
"You... are acquainted with all my ways" (vs. 3).
" Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them" (vs. 16).

But God doesn't only know the number of our days — He has determined it:

"You have hedged me behind and before
And laid Your hand in me" (vs. 16).

And so we know that every day of our lives is meant to be. If we are still here, God is allowing it, indeed ordaining it, to accomplish our part in His plan on earth.

The challenge for me, and you, is to use up these years, days, hours, and minutes wisely and well. To find the "everlasting way" and walk in it.

PRAYER: "Search me O God and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me
And lead me in the way everlasting" (vs. 23-24).

MORE: We are not so great
Though our human spirit is powerful and buoyed up by (somewhat delusionary) sayings like "If you can imagine it, you can do it" we are really very limited.

Our boundaries in life  and time on earth are limited. We don't even control basic things like physical height.  Though we can readily change the colour our hair appears to others, we still don't have power over whether it grows in blonde, black, grey, or white.


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Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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