“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 ESV).
Today we rose before dawn to fly westward, the rising sun at our backs. As with most of life’s lessons, numbering days means sorrow. My husband is now an orphan. When you bury your mother, you see eternity differently. Your heart grows wise.
For weeks, my husband’s departed father—young and whole again—beckoned to his mother from eternity. As her boys clustered about her, she said, “There’s Dad waving at me.” Finally, she cast off her fears, let go of her body, and crossed the divide. Now we head home for the funeral.
On this very day, thirty-four years ago, I gave birth to our second-born son. Death and life are always hard on one another’s heels. Today is no different.
“Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants!” (Psalm 90:13 ESV).
When loved ones join Jesus, peopling the welcoming committee, heaven grows sweeter. My husband likes funerals better than weddings. Funerals, he says, focus our hearts on Christ and eternity. As we prepare to lay his mother’s ashes to rest, our hearts are fixed upon reunion, not only with departed loved ones, but with all the dear ones who will gather for this funeral.
Death and life again. If Jesus were to return today, it would be a wonderful day—all of us here, together with all them there! They are waiting for us in heaven. God is good!
“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil” (Psalm 90:14-15 ESV).
The Lord rations our days, giving us exactly as he ordained before we were even born, just as he did the loved ones who have departed. The older we get, the more difficult the challenge. Life is hard. We are afflicted. We see evil. Our natural strength runs low.
When we don’t rely upon Christ, we falter. To continue on, we must be satisfied in his steadfast love, basking in him, cherishing him, thanking him, growing ever smaller as he grows ever larger. When we do, he makes our hearts soar with gladness.
“Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:16-17 ESV).
When we gather with our children and grandchildren to remember their grandma, we will be intensely aware of the Lord’s glorious power as shown in his kindness. We will see God face to face. We are undeserving of this kindness. God is under no obligation. Yet, he changed hearts and lives, and he brought us into his kingdom. An eternal reunion with no sin, no tears, and no pain feels downright enticing right now.
But, for now, God has granted us work to do for him, strength to move forward, love to restore and reconcile, and faith to heal hearts, minds, and souls. We know there is a terminus. Eventually, we will all be orphans. One day we will die, orphaning our own children. Human beings do not live in these broken bodies for many days upon the earth.
Lord, teach us to number our days, to make the most of the remaining few we have left before we meet our end in you.
How about you? Are you making the most of the days you’ve been given?