Friday, March 27

Life is short

Scripture: Judges 4-5, Psalm 39, 41, 1 Corinthians 13

Psalm 39:4–5 Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.

Observation/application

The psalmist reflects upon life and writes a song worth remembering!  

“Remind me how brief my time on earth will be.”  He is going to say this multiple ways so we can’t miss it!  Our lives are brief.  Measured against human history, my life is a blip; measured against eternity, it’s even less!  James 4:14 says, “Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”  Here, then gone.  Life is short!

“Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is.”  Our days are numbered—none of us has an endless supply of days in this life.  We’re finite—and we forget that.  Life is fleeting, frail and transient.  Rather than mourning this fact, we need to remember it and make the most of each day given to us.  Ephesians 5:15–16 “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”

“You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.”  Before rulers, a hand-width was the most basic unit of measurement.  Horses are still measured in hands.  A horse may be 16 hands tall, but your life and mine is one hand!  Life is short!  Make the most of it!

“My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”  A moment, a breath.  You can’t get much shorter than that!  Our lives are brief, our days are numbered, our lives are fleeting, no longer than a hand width, just a moment or a breath!  

This may seem like a big downer.  Nope.  It’s just reality.  And the psalmist’s point is that if we remember this, we’ll live better, more wisely.  

A few weeks ago, before this coronavirus crisis hit, I was struck one day by how fragile our lives are.  We think we are in control, but our lives are often only one event away from careening out of control, or going a completely different direction, or even ending.  One of my takeaways these days is to be more humble (I’m not in control), more grateful (God is good), and more opportunistic (make the most of every opportunity). 

Life is short.

Prayer: Today I echo the psalmist’s prayer.  Lord, remind how how brief our life is, and help us to live it full on with You!