“What is the Measure of My Days?”
David begins Psalm 39 with this question.
Sooner or later, every human reaches a point of bewildering uncertainty.
- Sleepless nights with a newborn –will I ever sleep all night again?
- A Difficult diagnosis – how can I go on like this?
- Betrayal – can I ever trust anyone again?
- Will my wayward family member ever return to God?
The pressure builds inside the heart and mind, and we sit in the darkness of uncertainty, trying to find a sliver of hope.
1 I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence.” 2 I was mute and silent; I held my peace to no avail, and my distress grew worse. 3 My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: (Psalm 39:1-3 ESV)
David tries keeping his thoughts and words to himself, but his season of silence does nothing to help him regain peace. He comes to a breaking point. Uncertainty overwhelms him.
We are created to live and grow in community. Yes, even as an introvert –I profoundly know this. Many of us are hardwired for verbal processing. Living in silence amid fearful oppression causes my mind to become overwhelmed and my thinking distorted. A trusted listener can be a balm to a troubled soul. Even when I am not ready to talk it out, I need someone who holds space for me and companionship on my journey.
4 “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! 5 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 6 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! (Psalm 39:4-6 ESV)
I desperately need God’s perspective on my life. Sometimes uncertainty brings me to a surrendered place. Letting go of what I always thought it would be like is very hard.
What if the death of my expectations leads to an entirely new life I could never have imagined?
God knew all along with His 360-degree view.
7 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it. My words cannot defend me. Only you can make a way forward for me.
10 Remove your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
11 When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah
(Psalm 39:7-11 ESV)
I feel frustrated if I wait too long for an indecisive coffee customer in line just ahead of me to place her order. I need to get back on the road. My time was wasted.
I know my time is always well-spent when I wait on the Lord. I find myself right where He wants me to be, with an opportunity to feel the anchor of hope keeping me from drifting off course. In my time of stillness, please help me to take an inventory of anything that needs to be cleared out and released.
12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.
13 Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!
(Psalm 39:12-13 ESV)
Lord, thank you that I am your guest. Therefore, I don’t have to provide for myself. I can relax with your generous hospitality. I am grateful to see how my spiritual mothers and fathers have gone ahead of me and set a path for me to follow. Please help me to remember to travel lightly and not settle into this earthly home because I am not a permanent resident. My citizenship is destined for eternity. The measure of my days on this earth will be exactly as you have ordained for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.