In America, nearly 7,000 people die every day. Time runs out on their lives. The Bible has a lot to say about time. The most important thing it says is something we already know—our time is limited. Someone once said: time can be used or wasted, it can be invested or squandered, but either way, once used, it can never be regained. Time matters because each of us have such a limited supply. We could pose the question: How much time do we have left? Only God knows the answer to that question. In Psalm 90:12 the Psalmist wrote: Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise. Some translations say teach us to number our days. Most of us have never numbered our days. It’s hard to do because no one knows how many days they have left to number.

Psalm 90:12, 139:16; Proverbs 16:9; Ecclesiastes 9:1; Acts 18:20-21; James 4:13-16

Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise. Psalm 90:12

No one knows what amount of time they have left on earth. Christ followers are encouraged to live by faith knowing that their future is in God’s hands. In the New Testament book of James we read about a common mistake people made 2000 years ago which people are still doing today. People were making plans for their lives and thinking ahead and trying to set some goals for the years ahead. There was nothing wrong about that except for one thing: they were leaving God out of their thinking. The people James was talking about believed as most Americans do: they were masters of their own fate. They approached life as if they were in control over it. James reminded the people that no one is smart enough to know what will happen in their life tomorrow let alone in a month or a year from now. We have the same problem in the 21st century because none of us know what will happen tomorrow. Life was as uncertain in the 1st century as it is today. We can easily forget how fragile life is and how quickly it can change for any of us. A speeding car driven by an intoxicated person, a stray bullet fired in a quiet neighborhood, a sudden stroke in your living room, a doctor’s diagnosis of cancer at the clinic are but a few of life’s uncertainties that we can’t control.

How do some people you know waste time? When was the last time you made plans and goals without consulting God? How did that work out for you? Do you have family members or friends that live their lives as if they are in control? How do we teach our children to involve God in their plans and goals for their lives? Do you ever get fearful when you contemplate the brevity of life? What’s the importance of saying, “If it is the Lord’s will?” Why do you believe that God is the ultimate guide for your life? When do you remember recognizing God’s sovereign control over a small detail of your life?

Pray and surrender all your plans and dreams to God and His will for your life. Make the most of your time left on earth to further God’s kingdom. Offer to serve Him every day however He leads you at home at work at school and at church.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for my life and the time that you have given me. I want to be faithful to use that time in a way that will bring honor and glory to your name. I invite you to show me how I should plan and what my goals should be according to your will for my life. Help me to not only remember the frailty and brevity of life but my responsibility to you as my creator and Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise. Psalm 90:12