Thursday, December 8th. Psalm 90:1-12

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn us back to dust, and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”

For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night. You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning; in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.  For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

For all our days pass away under your wrath; our years come to an end like a sigh.  The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger? Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart. Psalm 90:1-12

Psalm 90 encourages us to “count our days.”  This is one season of the year when we all find ourselves counting days – the number of shopping days before Christmas, the number of school days before Christmas vacation, the number of days until pay day.

Psalm 90 is where we get the idea that “God’s time” is not the same as “our time.”  1000 years is nothing in God’s time but it is a long time for us.  Even if we count in dog years.  But our lives, however long, will always not only be brief over against forever but will be bafflingly brief to us as we live through them.

Every year seems to pass by more and more quickly.  So what do we do with that information?

Again, Psalm 90 invites us to count our days.  Perhaps turning that phrase around might unlock its meaning for us.

What would it mean for us to make every day of our lives count?  What makes something “count” in the long run?

Oddly enough, when I think about my own life, it isn’t some kind of major accomplishment that would make my life count.  It is instead the little pieces of daily faithfulness that probably make the most difference.  This is a good thing because when I’m gone, those who will miss me and those I most affected won’t have a lot of major accomplishments to draw from in reflecting on my life.  They will remember the little things.  A comment here.  A conversation there.  A new idea.  Simply showing up.

Many of the most significant moments of our lives – when it comes to our impact on others – are often moments when we are completely unaware of what is going on, and clueless to the lasting impact.  Unfortunately, that works for both the good that we do and the pain that we inflict.

We put this together and suddenly we see that “counting our days” and “making our days count” both come together when we focus, not on the past that we can’t change or the future that lies only in God’s hands, but on the present.  On today.  On now. On the next right thing.  The next right step.  On the God who holds our hands along the way.

Maybe this is the only wisdom we really need.  Maybe this is why today, in the gift of God that is life, is called the “present”.

Let us pray:  We come to you this moment, God our Creator, our Redeemer and our Sanctifier, to thank you for the gift of our lives, for the gift of new life.  We count because you have counted us, even the hairs on our heads are numbered.  So we pray right now for freedom from the past that we cannot change, for hope in the future that we cannot see, for love to live this moment well.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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7 Responses to “Thursday, December 8th. Psalm 90:1-12”

  1. Tom Skonie Says:

    I often wonder about the promise of “eternal life”. It seems that we are not wired for such a long stretch. As I get older (66) I deal with the fact that time is growing shorter and there are so many things still to learn & enjoy. But forever seems beyond my ability.

  2. Glenda Ferguson Says:

    Thank you for your wonderful words for today and sharing how we should spend the moments of our day! In the “present” God has given us! Bless you for your ministry!

  3. arniewalter10 Says:

    WONDERFUL POST!! 🙂

    How ever long and tedious, our lives on earth here are like the briefest flash of light compared to eternity.
    Therefore, the main focus of our lives in the present “here and now” should be how we will be for eternity.

  4. Shari Johnson Says:

    The thoughts in your devotion today underscore what I have read in a book by Henri J. Nouwen entitled, “Here and Now”. Thank you for the rich wisdom! The little things we do or say can be the difference of being “hopeful” or “hopeless” to someone whose life we touch!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    A Men

  6. Kirk Childress Says:

    Very good devotion, I think the point this Pslam makes at the end to count our days and gain a wise heart is a statement that will get people to think about things eternal, we cannot change the past good are bad, we cant know the future, the most wise we can do is live for the present and hope in Jesus Christ as our redeemer.

    A Men

  7. Randy Nelson Says:

    “So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” Eternal is God’s word for His children’s understanding. Omnipotent God. Therefor God created all dimensions. Time is always moving forward in the mortals’ world. Jesus put in parables mortal pictures of our God for our sake. God is infinitely beyond our understanding forever. Perhaps the dimension of time is so insignificant to God, He can transcend time to the past & has established our mortal history for His children’s sake. God is love.

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