Monday, July 20, 2020

How to Number our Days


I loved going to weekday women's meeting at my church growing up. My grandmothers were always  present, armed with their Bible and a Methodist Hymnal.

When we finished the meeting, every woman, girl, and boy in the room sang the motto of the women's society as loud as our lungs would allow us. It went like this:

"E seja sobre nós 
A graça do Senhor 
E confirma sim confirma
A obra das nossas mãos
Amém!" 

The translation is:
"Be upon us 
the grace of the Lord 
and establish 
Yes establish
The work of our hands
Amen!" 

Now, how smart is it for a group of women to dismiss their meeting with such powerful prayer? I thank God for the women who raised me. 

After we said our goodbyes, people moved on with the business of life. They moved on only after they asked God's blessing over the work of their hands. 

Have you ever thought about asking God to bless the work you do?

Enter life pre-COVID. Most women my age were busy working and volunteering (or they were busy complaining about all the stuff they signed up to do). 

Every year the same thing happened. People voluntarily signed up to do everything under the sun. At the end of the school year, there were parties, banquets, appreciations, etc. 

We forget that we are the masters of our schedules, not the other way around. 

We also forget that God is the master of our lives. He is well able to lead us towards the things we truly need to do. 

The truth is, we can't do everything.

Perception is everything in America. We all know that one of the ways to look successful is to sign up for a bunch of stuff and actually preside over the organizations that will give us more clout. 

Some women end up hating their own lives because they can't say no. I wonder if they know that this crazy lifestyle wasn't God's idea.

One of my mentors told me that this busy way of living, which leads people to be stretched thin by choice, is ungodly.

God's way is the only way to live well. Let's think of someone who deeply cared about God's ways: Moses.

Moses wrote Psalm 90, one of the oldest Psalms in the Bible.
The Psalm is described as a prayer. He starts by proclaiming God's eternity. 
Men and women are left with frailty at best.

God is eternal, He is all-powerful and we are not. 
Moses prays that God will teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 

So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom. 
Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)

The word for "teach", translated from yada, means "to know". The "us" is in italics in some versions of the Bible because it was most likely added by the translators so we can understand the writer better. 

If we go with what the writer wrote, we end up with "know to count our days." For what? That we may "apply" or "enter in" wisdom. Gain is another word that made sense for a lot of translators (and it is a good word). 

For our purposes, let's say that Moses asked God that we may know how to count our days so we can apply our hearts to wisdom. 

Let's be very honest and admit that God will most likely not tell us when we are out of here. He knows the day and the hour we are to die and for the majority of people, He does not reveal when that will be. 

So how in the world will we learn how to count our days?
I believe that's when choices come in the equation. 

God knows my end. He also knows what I should do in the between. 
He can teach me to number my days but I need to seek Godly wisdom to make my days count. God is able to teach me and I need to do my part. 

Here is an example of choices I made that were a waste of "numbering" my days. 

One time, I signed up to lead 5 or 6 different groups at church. 
My thought was: "there is a need and I need to fill it."

Did God give me the gift to lead? Yes. Is God pleased when I am stretched thin? No! 
Could God have told me which group I was supposed to lead? Yes. Did I ask? No. 

I learned that I couldn't do everything. During that time, I also discovered my physical health was deteriorating. I had to press pause in trying to save the world and change my lifestyle. 

I finished my commitment to the 6 groups. I took a break from leadership to take care of my health. Once my blood pressure was no longer high as a kite, I went back to leading one group. 

God is more than able to teach us to count our days. The only way our days will count is if we live them according to God's guidance and plan for our lives. 

Once you know what God wants you to do, you can ask Him to give you wisdom for everyday life. 

I know that right now, God is calling me to be Zeke's wife, the mother of our children, and a professional. 

Can I try to save the world again and sign up to lead 6 different groups in town? Yes. Will I do it? Well, you and I know it won't be wise. 

You have no idea how difficult it is for me to see a leadership need and to just sit quietly. I know there is a season and time for everything. When it is time to lead something outside of what I am currently doing, God will make it plain. 

Because there are opportunities to help everywhere. Here is what I realized:


I cannot do everything. 
I can't donate to every cause. 
I can't sign up for every meal train. 
So I won't. 

The things I choose to do, 
I will do with all my heart. 

I cannot control everything. 
I can't choose when this virus will end. 
I can't make everything go back to normal. 
So I won't. 

The things I can do, 
I will do with all my heart. 

With God's help
I will take care of my health. 
With God's help
I will care for my family. 
With God's help
I will work diligently as a professional. 

With God's help
I will respect my limits. 

With God's help
I will remember to pray.
With God's help
I will learn to number my days.
Only with God's help, 
I will gain a heart of wisdom.

That song from my childhood never left my heart. I am learning it to make it my daily prayer. I invite you to pray with me as we get ready to engage in the business of life:

"Be upon us 
the grace of the Lord 
and establish 
Yes establish
The work of our hands
Amen!" 

1 comments:

LifenotesEncouragement said...

I so appreciate your wisdom and insight. God uses the daily things in our lives, what some would consider trivial to teach us...to number our days; to make wise choices.
I needed this word of encouragement today. Thank you.