Best of Daily Reflections: Your Fleeting Life

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.

Psalm 39:4

Why might you want to know how fleeting your life is? After all, it sounds rather dreary to consider the fact that your days are numbered. Which of us really wants to remember that we're closer each day to the time of our death? What difference might it make if we took seriously the transient nature of our lives?

In Psalm 39, David is enduring painful hardships. As he tries to make sense of his suffering, he asked the Lord to show him that his life is fleeting. He seeks a new perspective from which to gain wisdom about his life and its meaning. Awareness of his short life might help him to live more vitally, even in the midst of difficulty and discouragement.

In the last few days, I have been continually reminded of the brevity of my own life. My wife and I accompanied my daughter on her "pre-frosh" visit to the college she'll start attending in the fall. This school happens to be my own alma mater. So, as I have walked the campus with Kara, I've felt the fleeting nature of my days. In many ways, it feels like just yesterday when I was a freshman, even though, in fact, it was thirty-eight years ago. I can't believe how quickly those thirty-eight years have rushed by.

I've also been remembering the day of Kara's birth, only eighteen years ago. It's hard for me to believe that the time of her childhood is over, that she'll soon be moving so far away. Even as I'm thrilled for her, I grieve the pending loss of immediate relationship. With my son also away at school, my wife and I will enter the unfamiliar season of the empty nest.

When I consider how fleeting my life is, I feel a mix of feelings, including sadness, gratitude, and fear. But, most of all, I find myself wanting to live each moment I have left with abundance. I want to offer myself to the Lord each and every day, to live for his purposes and pleasure. I want to delight in the relationships that God has given me, with my family, my colleagues, my friends, and others.

God alone knows how many days I have left on this earth. What I do know is that these days are numbered and the numbers are turning quickly. May God give me the wisdom to live this day to the fullest. And may God do the same for you, today, tomorrow, and each day ahead.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What things in your life remind you that your days are numbered? How do you respond when you consider the fleeting nature of your life?

PRAYER: Gracious God, at least for today, I don't need to ask you to show me how fleeting my life is. I feel it profoundly already. But I do ask that you'll help me to remember this truth tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. I ask for this gift, not so that I might live morbidly, but so that I might live fully, embracing the opportunities, joys, challenges, and even sorrows that come my way. O Lord, help me not to waste one moment of the life you have given me. Rather, let me be the person you have created and re-created me to be. May I live each and every day for your glory and kingdom. I pray through Jesus, my Savior and Lord. Amen.