The whole of scripture leads us to one conclusion: Our lives are short, and they will be over sooner than we think. Here are just a few verses for you to consider.
Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Job 7:7 “Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath.”
James 4:14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Psalm 39:4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.”
This life is over quickly, and we have no idea how many days we will get. The Bible bears an undeniable witness to this truth, and so does our experience. We have all known people in great shape and the prime of their life when God called them home. Also, some people did not take care of themselves and yet lived a long life with relatively good health.
These facts are undeniable, and yet we still spend an immeasurable amount of time fighting this truth. We diet, exercise, take our vitamins, floss, and visit our doctor regularly. We avoid destructive habits and do everything to keep ourselves safe. Our quest to expand the length of our lives sends us dozens of directions as we try anything that might a few days to our journey on earth or of those we love.
I am as guilty as anyone. My parting words for my children are always the same, “Please, be careful.” It is like I believed that them taking extra precautions in life will give them control. In reality, we have absolutely no control. James says, “Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:15) Jesus says that you cannot add a single hour to your life by worrying. Then he adds, “Since you cannot do this very little thing…” (Luke 12:25-26). We cannot add hours to our life beyond what God has decided to give us.
The Biblical writers’ encouragement is not to attempt to add days to your life but to add life to your days. We are to do things in this life that truly matter for eternity. This means taking time regularly to realize how little we have left so that we will give ourselves to meaningful endeavors. The Psalmist encourages us to count or number our days. Spend time asking yourself, “Am I more obsessed with trying to live longer than living the life God desires?” Learn to count your days so that you can make each day count.