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Number Your Days
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Just for fun, try this: Take out a piece of paper or a calculator and figure out how many days you have inhabited this planet. You can find this number by multiplying your age by 365, then add the number of days since your last birthday. That will give you the approximate number of days you have been alive (not counting leap years).

As I write this devotional today I calculate my days since birth at approximately 21,380. Yikes! Where have they all gone? When I look back over those thousands of days, some moments of significance stand out, but mostly the days, weeks and months of my past are a fuzzy blur.

Moses, the writer of Psalm 90, implores God in verse 12, “Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” One way of measuring our lifespan is to count the days we’ve been alive. But Moses is asking for something more. He doesn’t want to just count his days; he wants his days to count.

Aware of the brevity of life (see verse 10), Moses realizes we need a better way of auditing our days. He knows that although we expect to live a long and full life, there are no guarantees. Life is fragile, our world is broken. Every day matters. Every moment matters.

What is the answer? Rather than be depressed about all the days of our lives that have slipped by seemingly unnoticed and rather unexceptionally, perhaps there is a better approach. Given the complexity of life we, like Moses, need to ask for wisdom about how to live.

Perhaps a starting point is to ask a few questions:

1. What does it mean to “number our days aright”?
2. What are the obstacles impeding my ability to make each day count for God?
3. Why might careful use of my time be a big deal to God?
4. What does God need to teach me about the way I use my hours and days?

Next, we should confess careless use of the days already gone by, asking God to redeem our past and empower us for the future. Each day we can re-commit ourselves to God, asking Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit and help us obey His leading. This prayer, written by Ellen White in the book Steps to Christ (page 70), just may be the perfect way to start each day: “Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.”

Numbering our days aright will please God, as well as give meaning to our lives. Someday when we look back over the thousands of days of life on this earth we will thank God for what He has accomplished and bask in those affirming words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

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By Nancy Gerard. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ® .


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