How to Count Your Days

Friday, January 17, 2014

This year my Word of the Year is COUNT.  This is a post from the archives that started it all...

14, 600 Days.  That is how long it took.  The wandering.  Did they count them off?  Did they keep track of the time? Of how many sunsets passed? Did they wonder, "When will it end?" Were they like a prisoner in a cell scratching out marks on the wall?  14,600 days is a long time to wait. In the waiting there is wisdom.

In Psalm 90, Moses speaks of the number of days: Of God dwelling with His people.  Of our lives. Of our afflictions.

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
    they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.
We are consumed by your anger
    and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath;
    we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
    Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
    your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands.

 It is in scratching out the marks on the wall that we gain wisdom.  It is in the numbering that we will be numbered among the wise.  Why count them off?  Because realizing that we spend so few of our days here  makes us push forward to use them for His glory. 14,600 days are but little. A span of seventy years just isn't enough.  If we number them we know that the suffering will not last forever. The enduring of all those miserable days will come to an end. Most importantly, if we count the days we know we can count on His love...

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

The marking off of days leaves a mark on our souls if each day is started in His love.  If we are reminded that we don't walk alone.  We don't wander without purpose. We don't live without His love. He is ever present and always loving no matter what our days it a wilderness or a Promised land.

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