December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
As our days pass and we turn our hearts more and more toward home, we begin understand more fully the words of the Psalmist, teach us to number our days. With every passing moment we are preparing for our final journey and modelling what it means to grow old graciously; to walk by faith; to live well and finish well, leaving a legacy of hope and faith for those we love.
Like any student preparing for the finals, we would do well to remind ourselves of some foundational truths that will help form a confident faith as we approach the finish line. First, we must reject the 'wisdom' of our contemporary Western culture which ignores / denies the inevitability of death. The Bible is abundantly clear on this point, there is a time to be born and a time to die. (Ecclesiastes 3:2)
Secondly, we must 'keep one eye on eternity' (Colossians 3:1-2). In Christ we have dual citizenship, longing for a better country--a heavenly one. (Hebrews 11:16) As Christians we live simultaneously in this world and the next. We are equidistant from eternity every moment of our life from conception to resurrection.
Thirdly, we can number our days (Psalm 90:12), not by calculating our expected life span by the latest actuarial tables and then seeking to squeeze all that we can into each day but by recognizing the uncertainty and brevity of life and being good stewards of the time we have been given.
Fourthly, we can allow the challenges and hardships of life, of growing older to remind us to fix our eyes on not on what is seen but on what is unseen; to recognize, Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Therefore we do not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) Through these experiences we have opportunity to die to self and life for Christ; to live in the resurrection power of Christ.
Finally, we can practice progressive relinquishment; letting go graciously, for we are aliens and strangers on earth. (Hebrews 11:13) Loosening our ties to this world is rarely and easy process, but it is essential to finish well. An important part of this process is realigning our priorities. The Psalmist boldly declares: Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 62:5-6)
Someday our life's journey will be over. In a sense we all are nearing home. I pray that you and I may not only learn what it means to grow older but, with God's help, also learn to grow older with grace and find the guidance needed to finish well. (Billy Graham)