Psalm 90:12 - Our Lives Are Brief



When I read this verse a few weeks ago, its truth struck me on different levels.

Part of it has been the realization of how quickly life passes us by. I still have a hard time believing we've been in Cambodia nearly three years, that I've nearly reached the end of my pregnancy, that I'll be twenty-seven years old next week. How did life pass by so quickly?

But I've also heard some gut-wrenching stories that reminded me that I can't take the days I've had so far for granted, without realizing their value. This afternoon, Andrew and I bought a car seat off Craigslist from a couple who had lost their baby in their second trimester. Another woman I follow on Instagram lost her baby at 37 weeks. Both were lives that were taken so much sooner than their parents expected. I realize that my healthy pregnancy (so far) is a gift.

And then I hear the classic refrain of parents everywhere - "Enjoy the baby moments, because they go by too quickly!" Yet how do you stop time from moving forward, extending those moments into longer ones that will last in your memory?

Maybe parenthood is just one way of experiencing the truth of Psalm 90:12. And it makes me wonder - what does it mean to grow in wisdom from the knowledge that life is brief and fleeting? What was Moses thinking about when he wrote this Psalm? (yup, the title says Moses wrote it) Psalm 90 says that even with God, a thousand years are like a day (verse 4). We aren't the only ones who see time as flying by, although perhaps for different reasons than God.

How can we gain wisdom from realizing that life is short? Psalm 90 talks about our eyes being opened to the holiness of God and our own sinfulness. It also asks God to let us see his glory, that he would bless the work of our hands. Wisdom comes from fearing and knowing God, and seeing our lives as he sees them - brief yet significant.

I think I cannot take it for granted that my life, or the lives of people I love, will always continue on as they have. Every day is a chance to do something or believe something significant. It guides my choices, helping me decide what I should truly pursue. Feeling that I have endless time would make me careless with how I spend my life, just as someone with endless amounts of money don't have to be as careful to daily budget those dollars. And it's also helped me realize how much I need God to guide my choices and direct me in what will bring him joy and serve those around me.

So that's my prayer for this weekend - that we would grow in wisdom and gratitude for the lives God has given us and seek to use them for his purposes, realizing that our lives are short. Yet through our relationship with Christ, they can still be significant.

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