“O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!”
I guess when you’re a Christian, the saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ no longer applies. No, when you start believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and when His faith is authored into you (which is just the same as saying He comes to live in you as you are made alive in Him), the notion of a wish doesn’t count as much, because we eventually come to know what is written in the word – that when we delight ourselves in the Lord (which is something true for us, made true and absolutely guaranteed by the finished work of Christ), He will give us the desires of our heart.
Note the words: desires of your heart. He knows what you want, deep inside, without being laced or influenced by what you have in your mind, which is itself laced and influenced by this finite and fallen world. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say as to what I think a wish is – it’s what our limited minds want.
No, it’s no longer ‘be careful what you wish for’, more than it is ‘be prepared for what you pray for’. Because I guess I made the mistake of wanting to learn exactly what was written in those verses I mentioned in Psalm 39. For almost 3 weeks now I’m being reminded of how my days could easily be cut short – no, thankfully I haven’t been feeling anything drastic, or at least it doesn’t seem like anything close to life threatening (though if I really had dengue I guess that’s pretty hardcore), but I have been feeling headaches that I couldn’t shake off, body pains that are difficult, if not near impossible to relieve without any sort of medication to alleviate it enough so I could sleep, fever that comes on and off… and just yesterday I started feeling heartburn – or, at least that’s what I’m being led to believe. The pain is just below my heart area, and right above my tummy, which people who have experienced it before have confirmed that this is more than likely heartburn, or acid reflux.
The point here is, I have been humbled, indeed. I’ve not necessarily known my end, but it feels like more and more of my being is led to perceiving what the end means. All this that I’ve felt was enough for me to understand… I’m not as invincible as I once thought I was. It’s led me to understand, indeed, how fleeting I am.
And indeed, what ARE our lives in this world, if our lives were only limited to our existence in this world? Though I’m being led to believe that our life expectancy rates have increased worldwide in the past centuries, our lifespans fall far short compared to, what, sea turtles (thanks, Nemo), or bristlecone pines (thanks, World Book Encyclopedia)? Our lifespans are already next to nothing compared to how long we’re assuming stars and the planets would last… and indeed, we’re eventually led to see – that if we were to put any and all our focus just into what we have within our fragile lives, which are within this finite world, all our efforts, all our experience, any and all meaning we would assume from our being would certainly be absolutely nothing before the infinite and eternal God.
I agree where the Psalmist says – Surely, all mankind stands as a mere breath!
For by a breath of life breathed into clay, Adam came into being… and apparently, after another breath, he and all that have come to existence from him could cease to exist just as quickly. And sure, it’s easy for us to be humbled by way of seeing how finite we are as we face the infinite and eternal…
…but apparently it’s another thing entirely for us to see for ourselves, without any outside help but just our own physical bodies crying out… that we are finite. That we have been drawn from dust, and from dust we do return. Yes, apparently Memento Mori comes from different perspectives.
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.”
In Christ, we no longer are limited to just realizing how fragile we are – no, the Son of God has guaranteed, by His birth, death, resurrection and ascension, that we can not only look to, but RUN to God, our Father in Heaven; Christ’s finished work has guaranteed that we, even in our finite state, can look to our infinite and eternal Creator – we wait on Him, we hope in Him.
But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
I have become like a man who does not hear,
and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
But for you, O LORD, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
We may be so afflicted to the point that we are rendered speechless. We may be brought down so low that we couldn’t go any lower, to the point that we no longer see any point to standing up, much less fighting back. In these times we are not only spaced out but silenced, as if we were under the mercy of time, just waiting for nature to take its course.
Yet in Christ we are not hopeless. No, as mentioned earlier, our hope is in Him. We don’t wait on entropy to end us – we wait on our God… no, our Father in Heaven, to answer.
I end these sobering words today with another classic. No, not from Don Moen, but from the equally legendary Maranatha Singers, who sing as follows:
We must wait, wait, wait, on the Lord
We must wait, wait, wait, on the Lord
And learn our lessons well
In His timing He will tell us
What to do where to go and what to say
Friends, it’s the middle of the week. I pray that our Father would renew our strength, as we wait on Him.
God bless us all.
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