A lot of people try to impress the world and buy too many things. This phenomenon begins when we’re young because a lot of young people don’t know what they really want, so they want everything the world has to offer. But if we don’t know what we want, we end up with a lot that we don’t. We end up trapped in our nest of things and the things that we used to own. Then, all of a sudden, they own us.
When we wake up in the morning what’s waiting for us? Are we grateful and excited for the day the Lord has made, or are we anxious about the daily grind? Are we thankful for today’s challenges, or are we frustrated by all the stuff we worry about? Is today a heavy burden or a new shot at life? Is each morning more miserable than the last, or pregnant with new challenges?
No matter how we feel about it, God has given us another day. Today, God gives us more of life and all it contains. We sleep and wake up to another day held tight in God’s grip. Each day God adds to the number of our days. And only God knows the number of days we’re given. That’s why David thanks God for his life and the days he’s reigned as king. As he writes in Psalm 61:
“Prolong the life of the king;
may his years endure to all generations...
So will I ever sing praises to your name,
as I perform my vows day after day” (Ps 61:6,8).
But, whether we’re a king or a beggar, the goal of life is the same: God leads us to the refuge that’s more secure and safe than any man-made thing, more than anything we own, more than anything that owns us. Even if we’re stripped of everything we believe we can’t live without – time, money, and possessions – and even if our enemies surround us, too numerous to count, we will not die but live and confess what the Lord does for us.
When we trust Jesus’ promises are true, we live, breathe, and have our being in the shelter of his faithful-loving kindness.
We can add up the value of our lives based on the things and people we own. We can allow ourselves to be brainwashed by popular culture into believing we’re only as valuable as our purchases. We can choose to let insurance adjusters and marketing teams determine the worth and purpose, and length of our lives, but only the Lord knows the number of the days of our lives.
That’s why Jesus teaches us that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4).
People constantly do things to shorten or lengthen their lives. They worry about themselves most of the time. They measure the value of their life by how many material possessions they’ve accumulated; the food they eat, the size of their bed, what celebrities they worship, how they entertain themselves, all these things are how they add up the value of their lives. It’s what they imagine takes away or adds to the days of their lives.
We all need a break from the daily grind now and again. We need to sit down and enjoy some light-hearted entertainment. But, if we put the wrong emphasis on these things, we get distracted by them and forget the goal of life, which hurts us worse than we imagine.
Like David, we recognize that it’s God who adds to our days and prolongs our lives. And yes, that life is cut horribly short by the consequences of our sin. But, when God’s Word went to the cross and made full payment for all our sinful, self-serving, self-seeking activities, and then rose from the dead, Jesus added an “always and forever” to our days and lives despite how many times we’ve been bought and sold by the things, and people, and multinational corporations that own us.
When we trust Jesus’ promises are true, we live, breathe, and have our being in the shelter of his faithful-loving kindness. Each day that God gives us is another day with Jesus. A daily gift, a gift we call “today,” given to us by God’s Word that stretches into eternity so that there’s never a day when we’re not living in God’s presence, praising and thanking him in the name of Jesus, for all he does and gives to us.
In Christ, there’s never a day that life isn’t added to our days, so we sing praise with King David and all the saints, “Blessed be the name of the Lord forever and ever. Amen.”