Daily Devotionals

Road Trip: Week 3 - Friday

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4

Every day when I wake up in the morning, I am reminded that I am growing older. In fact, the other day when I was sitting in a small group of people, a lady looked at my hair and said, "Andrew, what happened! You have so many gray hairs!" I said, "I have three kids. That's 'what happened,' thank you!" Conversations like that one, along with our reflection in the mirror, are constant reminders that life is short.

Isn't it interesting though that we live in a culture that does everything we can to reverse the process of aging? There are pills you can take, creams you can rub, and work-out programs you can do to make you look younger. When those things are not enough, you can elect to have a facelift, tummy tuck, or Botox injections to fix the natural effects of old age and gravity. No matter what your daily regiment or procedures, our days are always numbered.

Throughout the Bible, we see God reminding us that life is brief and temporary. Interestingly, in the Psalms, we find that the Israelites included this truth in many of their corporate worship songs. They sang choruses and praises with the intent of reminding one another that our life on this earth is temporary. When we gain this perspective, it changes the way we expend effort and energy. We put time into relationships and building God's Kingdom over things that don't last forever. We start to put away treasures in heaven rather than sweating it out to gain more stuff. We put time into those people we love, building memories with our families, and having deep relationships with good friends, rather than being superficial or shallow. We understand that we find meaning and purpose in our relationship with God, rather than following the American Dream. All this comes through numbering our days and making the most of our lives.

Moving Toward Action

Imagine that you were given the news from your doctor that you only have three months left before you were going to die. Your physical health was going to be moderately okay, and you could still be active. But ultimately, you only had about 90 good days left. How would you spend those last days? Write out some of the things that you would want to do, and where you would invest your time. After writing those things out, think through what your life would look like if you lived each day like it was your last day on earth.

Going Deeper

Read Psalm 39:1-13 (NLT)

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.

I said to myself, “I will watch what I do
    and not sin in what I say.
I will hold my tongue
    when the ungodly are around me.”
But as I stood there in silence—
    not even speaking of good things—
    the turmoil within me grew worse.
The more I thought about it,
    the hotter I got,
    igniting a fire of words:
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.
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.” Interlude

We are merely moving shadows,
    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
    not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
    My only hope is in you.
Rescue me from my rebellion.
    Do not let fools mock me.
I am silent before you; I won’t say a word,
    for my punishment is from you.
But please stop striking me!
    I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.
When you discipline us for our sins,
    you consume like a moth what is precious to us.
    Each of us is but a breath. Interlude

Hear my prayer, O Lord!
    Listen to my cries for help!
    Don’t ignore my tears.
For I am your guest—
    a traveler passing through,
    as my ancestors were before me.
Leave me alone so I can smile again
    before I am gone and exist no more.