Teach us to number our days aright, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12, NIV, 1984).
(Psalm 90:12, NIV, 1984)
Friend to Friend
Last month I lost a dear, older friend to the COVID-19 virus. Albert’s days upon this earth ended unexpectedly at 84 years. All those whose lives had been enriched by this unassuming, yet remarkably influential man, were grieved.
When I first met Albert, I was a young married woman in my early 30’s, with two young children in tow. I was hungry for a father figure/mentor in Christ and a spiritual grandfather for my children. I found all this and more in Albert. A highly productive, yet not busy man, Albert served as an Elder in our church and a staunch advocate for Jesus everywhere he went—in the local church, at the parachurch organizations in which he served, and in his workplace (which he happened to own).
I can still picture the riveting seriousness in Albert’s eyes when he would share one of his favorite verses: “Teach us to number our days aright, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalms 90:12, NIV, 1984) He would lean in to explain that although we will never know the exact number of our days here on earth, we all have an expiration date. The author of Psalms 90 makes this clear when earlier, in verse 10 of this same chapter, he tells us, “The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength.” Albert encouraged people to ask the Lord how they should view their lives in light of this fact and how best to use each day for the advancement of His kingdom on earth and, ultimately, for His glory.
The NIV Bible has gone through some transformation over the last few decades. Its most recent version drops the word “aright” from verse 12. Yet, I believe this word is crucial to the impact of this verse. We need not only to be aware that our days are numbered, but we need to look at that limitation in a- “right” sort of way—in light of eternity. Only then can we gain a heart of wisdom to know how we should best allocate those days and the strength afforded to us in them.
I’ve heard it said that the most important thing represented on a person’s tombstone is the dash between one’s date of birth and date of death. It’s what one did during the years which took place during that dash which display the true nature of a man or woman.
What are you doing with your “dash?” Are you cognizant of the precious time you’ve been gifted with? Have you been living life in a calculated way, making the most of every opportunity? Are you a faithful steward of all you’ve been entrusted with—the gospel message being your foremost valuable possession?
My dear friend, Albert—once he put his faith in Jesus Christ—was a brand new, highly motivated creation! His days were split between growing his business and growing God’s Kingdom. The income he made was what he used to financially back the ministries he dearly loved. His character at work gave him a platform with unbelievers. Albert loved people well. He shared the gospel readily. He always took the time to ask questions so he could better understand who you were and what you thought about things. He geared himself up for these encounters each and every day by spending time in the Word, in prayer, and in the presence of his beloved Savior.
Today, Albert is in the VERY presence of his Savior, Jesus Christ. I’m sure he was greeted with the anticipated phrase, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And I can picture him smiling as wide as his two cheeks will allow, with moistened eyes, as he exclaims, “Ah, so good to SEE YOU, my Lord!”
Lord Jesus, I ask that You teach me how to number my days aright so that I might gain a heart of wisdom. Please, please, let me not squander my time, talents, gifting, or resources in light of eternity. May I make Your greatness, Your deeds, and Your heart known to the next generation before I, like Albert, am gathered to Your side.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn:
Please read through these verses thoughtfully:
“Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:17-18, NIV)
“My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” (Psalm 78:1-4, NIV)
When’s the last time you shared the gospel message with someone—using WORDS? Have you been intentionally passing down stories of the Lord’s faithfulness to you and the reason for the hope you have in Christ? Ask the Lord for the opportunity and boldness to share what you have with those who need it!
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Lisa Morrone, PT is a physical therapist, professor, author of six books, radio guest and event speaker who encourages people to “Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake.” Visit Lisa’s website for more information and to sign up to receive her informative “Monday Morning Health Tips”!