How Can I Learn to Number My Days?

by Bill Thrasher, adapted by Bibles.net
Time: 5 Minutes

From the Editor: We want you to hear Dr. Thrasher’s story of when God changed his perspective on time and eternity. He put a wonderful practice into place, which we wanted him to share with you—if you also want the Lord to teach you to number your days. May Dr. Thrasher’s writing encourage you to consider your relationship with the Lord and how to make the best use of your time today.

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Spend Each Day in Light of Eternity

It is rare that a youth grasps the value of time and the brevity of life. The events of the day, their energy and vitality, and anticipation of the upcoming week can make teens think there are no limits to their earthly lives. Similarly, many adults, caught up in the tyranny of urgent things or even planning for a future vacation, will target the here-and-now, forgetting their life is short. Eternity should be their focus.

One of the challenges that God worked in me after I surrendered my life to him was my view of time. I agree with writer Richard Polle: “It is a serious waste to let a day go by without allowing God to change us.”(1) We all live under the command to make the most of our time (Ephesians 5:16). As Lawrence Scupoli puts it, “God has granted you the morning, but he does not promise the evening. Spend each day as if it were your last.”(2)

God has given each of us the time we need to do his will. Jesus said this at the end of his short earthly life: “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4 NASB).

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Consider Actually Numbering Your Days

Moses was an older man when he penned this prayer: “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NASB). Most of us may not like deadlines but would agree that they help us to get things done. In Psalm 90:10 Moses gives a general rule regarding the span of our earthly lives—seventy or eighty years. Of course, one’s life could be much briefer or could be longer.

Over thirty years ago, I took Moses’ prayer of Psalm 90:10 and literally began to number my days. I counted the number of days a person has if he lives seventy years by multiplying 70 by 365.25. I then subtracted the number of days I had already lived based on my age at that time. For the past thirty-plus years, I have put a new number at the top of each day in my Day-Timer, one lower than the day before. To be certain, each day could be my last and could also be the day that our wonderful Lord returns to get his children. My number is much lower now than it was thirty-plus years ago. Each of us needs to realize the great gift of the brief time that God has given us to live on this earth for our eternal God. As Jesus said, “Night is coming when no man can work” (John 9:4 NASB).

Why not pray Moses’ prayer of Psalm 90:12 for yourself?

Even with an eternal perspective, sometimes it is hard to wait patiently and trust God’s timing in our lives. However, many times God will appoint waiting as a prelude to a special blessing that he has for you. Such waiting lets him do special work in and through our lives as we wait. (3)

Footnotes:
1. Richard Polle, Christianity Today, September 2006, 112.
2. Lawrence Scupoli, Christianity Today, September 2006, 112.
3. For this concept in relationship to waiting on God for a mate, see Bill Thrasher, Believing God for his Best: How to Marry Contentment and Singleness (Chicago: Moody, 2004).
This excerpt was used by the author’s express permission from page 68-69 of his book, God As He Wants You to Know Him.
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