Teach us to number our days

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90 v12)

We’ve all followed with interest and amazement the unfolding news of the disappearance of the plane that set off for China from the Philippines and never arrived – simply disappeared from the sky. We have all felt sorry for the relatives of those on board, but have been intrigued by the mystery of it all. It seems impossible that in these days of technological advance a plane could just disappear and nobody know where it has gone or what has happened to it and those on board. It seems it may have ended up thousands of miles away from its intended flight path in the south Indian Ocean and it seems almost sure that no one has survived. When those people on board set off on what, for them, would have seemed a safe regular journey, they would have had no idea that this journey would be their last.

But it is the same for all of us, when we set off in a morning into our day, we have no guarantee that we will live to the end of it. It is a reminder to us that life is short and the only guarantee is that one day it will end. There are always disasters going on and we hope they won’t happen to us. Jesus talked to the people as Luke tells it to us like this: ‘What about those eighteen people who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were more sinful than all the others who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you. But unless you change your hearts and lives, you will all be destroyed too!’

James 4:13-15: ‘Some of you say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money.” But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away. So you should say, “If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that.”’

We never know what is coming, but the wonderful thing is – God does know. The Bible tells us he knows the end from the beginning. In Psalm 139 we read ‘all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be’.

Not only is God in control of time and eternity, but he knows everything about each one of us. And because he loves us so much he has already provided the way for us to come to him through the death and resurrection of his Son our Lord Jesus Christ. So that however long our lives may be, when we trust in him we need never worry about what a day will bring.

Brenda Critchley