Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
- Psalm 90:12
Over the last few years, two members of my family have faced life-threatening diagnoses. For me, the hardest part of supporting them through their treatments has been the constant uncertainty. I am always desperate for a definitive word from a doctor, but things are rarely that straightforward. Instead of being given clarity, we are often asked to wait.
It's hard to bear the burden of uncertainty, always wondering what the next test will reveal. Will we have weeks, months, years, or decades before death separates us? But regardless of disease and diagnosis, each of us will die one day - things like cancer just bring our mortality to the forefront instead of letting it hide in the recesses of our minds.
How can we best spend the time we've been given?
Faced with sobering reminders of our mortality, I find myself praying words that Moses once prayed. Psalm 90 tells us that though our lives are like grass that withers and fades (verses 5-6), we have an eternal home with God (verse 1). Like Moses, we can ask God to teach us to number our days so we can make wise decisions (verse 12), and to make our brief lives fruitful by making what we do for Him count (verse 17). Ultimately, the psalm reminds us that our hope is not in a doctor's diagnosis, but in a God who is "from everlasting to everlasting."
Prayer for Today
We can face the reality of our own mortality because we trust in God. Amen.