“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
–Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
Have you ever thought about how short life really is? The Bible says it is like a fog or a vapor that only appears for a short time, but in our fast-paced world, it is sometimes hard to get our heads around this fact. I didn’t realize this myself, until I confronted the fragility of life face to face, so to speak. While this experience was humbling and somewhat painful, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
One day I arrived at the doctor’s office for what I thought would be a routine check-up. I was feeling great, so I just wanted to get in and out of there. When they called my name, I expected to stay about 20 minutes at the most. But after the doctor listened to my heart, she told me that she didn’t like what she heard.
To make a long story short, I was told that my blood was flowing backwards, and I was rushed to the hospital. Without an operation, I was told I would die within 3 years.
As I waited for the operation, I had plenty of time to think about my life, and I realized how selfish I had been. While I had been a Christian for many years, I had just gained a new perspective on the beauty and value of life with God. I knew that I had often tried to get ahead of Him and tried to control everything by myself. I also found, upon honest reflection, that many of my priorities needed to be re-examined.
Life’s pressures are subtle, and we often put our desires ahead of following God. But while this material world won’t last long, you will live forever with Jesus Christ if you get to know Him during your lifetime.
Instead of being rudely awakened by a crisis, let my own experience speak to you. Do this by letting your life be one of worship. I don’t mean merely attending a church service now and then. Instead, I hope you will live to truly honor God, putting Him above all the temporary matters of this world.
Now I don’t mean to advocate living a “pie in the sky” kind of life, where you go and meditate on your belly button. Instead, Jesus showed us by example and through words how to live the richest life possible. We all have to face life’s pressures, but instead of just confronting them, too many of us sit back and let life pressure us. The answer is living a life of priority. By seeking God’s kingdom first as we go about everyday life, our Lord assures us that everything we really need will be supplied for us.
So instead of getting ulcers over that major business deal or temporary life crisis, spend some time with God and put all of your problems in God’s hands as He leads you through the day. Instead of putting him in a little air-tight compartment of your life, let yourself experience His peace as you grow in the knowledge that He has everything under control.
Just as you would while learning to play a musical instrument, the most important part of this process is perseverance. We must study God’s word, ceaselessly putting one foot in front of another. When we face difficult situations, instead of relying on our own intelect or understanding, we must develop our trust in God. As you let Him mold and shape you into His image, you will be blown away by the peace and rest He offers you. While life still may not be easy or trouble-free, you will notice that your light shines forth more and more often.
Again, Jesus told us that the highest form of living is ours when we learn to die to our own wants and desires. Only when we truly lose our lives serving Him and one another, will we find our lives in terms of value.
My friend, I challenge you to make a list of some real priorities. But in the light of life’s temporal nature, seek God above all things. What really matters is that you know just how much our loving God cares about you. When you start to grow anxious in the middle of the day, use scripture to picture the loving God who goes before you. The key is to persevere, and when you fall, as we all do, get right back on your feet. God will help you up if you can’t bear the pressures of life alone.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.mynvm.com and click on the PayPal button. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.