Friday, May 8, 2015

Prayer of Brevity

                The older I get the faster time seems to go. It seems like just yesterday my children were toddlers running around the house. Now they are married, have children of their own, and living as grown men and women. How quickly time goes by. This truth became even more real to me about three days ago when I received a call from one of our dog clients. She was in utter despair and could barely choke the words out. Her son, an avid rock climber, had taken a few days off of work to go and climb a mountain or two. When he did not show up for work, the Park Rangers were notified and a search party was sent out. He was found, but unfortunately, he did not survive the accident.
             One of my first thoughts after I hung up from praying with her was whether or not her son was saved. Was there a moment in his life where someone shared the gospel with him and before the breath left his body, did he cry out to Jesus? We will not know of that young man gave his life to Jesus Christ until we get to heaven. As I thought on these things, I thought about how short life is, and how there is really no way of knowing how long we truly have. As I was thinking a word popped into my head; a word that led me down a road to ponder life and all the moments we are given within them. That word is “Brevity”.
                Brevity means shortness of time, a brief moment in the space of eternity. As I grow older the impact of this word and the truth it brings to my heart becomes more real than I care to admit. Life is but for a moment. We are but a blink of the eye in view of eternity. Life is not long, it is brief. Here today, gone tomorrow. Perhaps Moses understood this truth too and is why he wrote Psalm 90. It is the only Psalm recorded as being written by Moses in the entire book. Perhaps it is because he understood the brevity of life better than any of us when he penned the 12th verse.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12 ESV
                Moses writes only one Psalm out the entire book, and he chooses to discuss the brevity of life in the view of eternity. He could have chosen any subject, written about all his life experiences with God, but instead he chooses the brevity of our lives here on earth. Moses pens for us the truth that we all come to know sooner or later- time flies, and life is short. Moses compares the brief existence of man upon this earth to the eternal existence of God. Compared to eternity, our lives are but for a moment.
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
(Psalm 90:2 ESV)
                God has no beginning and no end, unlike man who has a beginning and an end. We will all return to the dust. From dust we came and to dust we shall return. Our human bodies are going to die. They will perish; they will become dust and decay. It is a promise that we all have been given, since Adam ate the fruit, man has not lived forever on this earth.
                Our concept of time is limited as well because we are hindered by the brevity of this life. God views time from an eternal perspective, but we can only view it from a human perspective. Yesterday is gone for us.  
“You sweep them away as with a flood, like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning; in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.”
 (Psalm 90:5-6)
                We can look back on yesterday but when we do everything seems like a dream, we cannot relive it, we cannot go back into anything that happened. It was here for a second and gone the next. Once today is gone there is no getting it back. When we wake from a dream, no matter how hard we try to go back to sleep and pick up where we left off, we never can. You start a new dream, just like you start a new day. Today, once gone is gone forever.
                Moses writes all of this to remind us how brief our lives really are. When I think of all those moments I had to tell my mom how much I loved her before she went home to heaven, and the ones that I didn’t take advantage of, my heart is saddened. When I think of all those moments I had to share the gospel with my nephew before his nineteen years of life ended, and I didn’t take advantage of them, my heart is grieved. Oh, that I may come to see and understand the brevity of life and the precious gift we have been given today to share our Jesus with someone. Like Moses I cry out, “Teach me to number my days, that I may get a heart of wisdom”!

                This is not just my cry for myself, but a cry for all of us who are reading these words today. I pray that we would come to understand the brevity of this life and how precious this time we have been given is. I pray that the Lord would help us to see those moments that we have been given to share, to love, to show forth the wonders of His grace with someone else today. Teach us, O Lord, to number our days!
                We have not been given this day to do as we please, to go our own way. We have been given this day to show forth the glory of His praise, the wonder of His gospel and the hope of His grace. Teach us O Lord, to speak Your truth today because tomorrow may be too late. Teach us to be prepared to share Your word with that family member who needs a word of prayer. Teach us to serve You today and to not just speak Your word, but show forth Your word in all that we do today. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, and today will pass away with the morning light.

                Teach us, O Lord, to number our days. Help us to understand and to know that today is the day that someone needs our prayers, our help, and our encouragement. Today someone we know needs to hear Your gospel of salvation. Teach us today that our lives are but for a moment. Yesterday is gone and we cannot get it back. Today is all that we have. Give us wisdom to understand the brevity of our lives. We are but for a moment, but You are life eternal. Give us not just the understanding of our brevity, but give us the wisdom to walk it out as well. Help us to apply the truth You have shown us in Your word today so that we don’t miss another opportunity to share Your love, Your grace, Your hope with that person today. We might be the only Jesus someone ever gets to see. So, teach us, O Lord, to number our days that we might apply our hearts to wisdom. Today is all we have. In Jesus name, Amen and Amen.