Life Is Beautiful and Brief
by Laura MacCorkle
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12, NIV
Beneath my fun-loving exterior is a very analytical person. I love my life, I love spontaneity and I also happen to love trying to figure things out!
But like all good things taken to the extreme, my analyzing can turn obsessive and my focus fixed on that which cannot be explained anyway. It’s like the quote I ran across recently from prolific author Philip Yancey: “Faith is believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”
How true is that! Even so, I am always trying to make sense of a given situation going forward. Always.
But in light of today’s verse, how sad is that that I am consumed with trying to know what I think I need to know when I think I need to know it. Surely I’m missing out on opportunities to serve the Lord and the rest that is only found in him.
In a recent siutation when I was trying to “make sense” of what was going on, I also listened to a great sermon from Pastor Ray Pritchard of Keep Believing Ministries. And the best take-away nugget was this: “When you need to know, you’ll know.”
How simple! And yet how hard.
Here I am trying to find wisdom in what I can see and what I can figure out, when my life could be freed up by this reminder that God is sovereign and has all things under his control—no matter the circumstance.
Whatever I am trying to figure out today may not matter tomorrow. So why am I not looking to God first and seeking his direction in what matters most in this very moment?
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” the psalmist requests of God. And how do we gain a heart of wisdom?
By knowing the mind of Christ. By acknowledging our frailty and our humanity. And by remembering that God is God and we are not.
Earlier in Psalm 90 we read this:
You turn men back to dust ... For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
And toward the end of the passage, it says:
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.
The psalmist reminds us that God determines our life span, and he has his own timing and plans for each of our lives. Will we serve him and seek to fear and obey him before we once again turn to dust? Or will we fix our minds on ourselves, on our current circumstances and on trying to live our lives without regard to God’s perfect purposes?
At the end of the day, even if our lives never make sense (even in reverse!), we are called to bend the knee and praise the one who has “brought forth the earth and the world.”
Because of God’s “unfailing love,” life indeed is beautiful. And though it may be brief and sometimes confusing, because of his son our eternity is secure ... causing us to “sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
Intersecting Faith & Life: Knowing that your life is beautiful and brief, have you made yourself available to God for him to work in and through you as you walk by faith? List one reason that causes you to “be glad” today, because of the new life the Father has prepared in advance for you (Eph. 2:1-10).
Psa. 103:13-18, NIV
Psa. 119:133, NIV
“Take My Life and Let It Be”
Words & Music: Frances R. Havergal, 1874
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.