A Bold and Sobering Prayer

If my aim is to live with God-shaped perspective, today’s Bible reading contains a bold and sobering prayer that I need to hear and adopt as my own.

“O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!” (Psa 39:4)

Whatever you’re doing, could I encourage you to slow down and reflect on that God-breathed sentence?

“LORD, make me.” This is the essence of the life shaped by God. He is our Father; we are his children. He is our potter; we are the clay. We are all the work of his hand, and the potter has every right over the clay. Our prayer, therefore, should always be, “Shape me as it seems good to you to do.”

“LORD, make me know my end.” My time on this earth will come to an end. While the masses do everything in their power to fill their time and minds to the point of dwelling on anything other than “the end” of all things, God’s children know better. We’ve been taught better, and so we pray better. “I want to live with wisdom and I trust you above all others. And so, whatever you must do, make me know my end.”

“LORD, make me know what is the measure of my days.” Even in this one psalm, the Spirit of God seeks to shape our perspective. My days? They are “a few handbreadths … Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!” (39:5). My days on this earth are measured. They have a beginning and they have an end. A year marked my birth (1978, in my case) and a year will mark my death. What really matters is what I choose to do with the dash in the middle of those years.

“LORD, let me know how fleeting I am!” If all we have is Psalm 39:4, this verse, and the thought behind it, and this blog post about it are … depressing. But there’s more to Psalm 39 than the fourth verse.

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.” (Psa 39:7)

Here’s the bottom line.

Whether I choose to acknowledge God or not, my time on this earth will come to an end. Even if I’m 100% effective at never thinking about that end, my days are measured. I am fleeting.

God is not.

Living hope is available in him. Abundant life is a reality in him. Indestructible joy is possible in him.

Why then would I build my hope on anything or anyone else?

“O LORD, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!” (Psa 39:4)

…because if I built my life on him, when (not if) my time on earth has come to an end, I will eagerly depart to eternally be with the One who has been my hope and life and joy all along.

About Jason Hardin

Jason lives in southern Indiana with his wife Shelly and their three daughters. He works with the Charlestown Road church of Christ. Jason has written three books and a variety of workbooks. He's a fan of photography, baseball, mountains, wildlife, BBQ, banana pudding, and coffee. You can contact him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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