We are never given the promise of another day or of another year. James tells us we do not know what the morrow may bring (James 4:14). As the song we sometimes sing says, it may be “shadow or sunshine or rain.” Every day, then, is a precious gift; every moment a precious treasure. Instead of wasting our time on frivolous, vacuous activities, we ought to redeem the time (Eph. 5:16). We should remember just how short our time really is (Psalm 89:47).
LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. (Psalm 39:4,5).
The book of Job tells us that man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1). Our days are swifter than a post (courier) because they flee away (Job 9:25) and our life is as the wind (Job 7:7). How many of us have said, “Where has the time gone?” because time seems so fleeting. Life races past us and before we know it our hair is gray and our back is bowed and our life full of years. Our life is as a tale that is told (Psalm 90:9).
In most cases, time is not our ally. If we are not given the promise of another day, then we certainly do not have the promise of another year. Unlike king Hezekiah, we don’t have the assurance of another year much less fifteen (II Kings 20:6). But most of the time we do not act like it. We act as if time doesn’t matter, as if we have an over abundance of time, till, suddenly, one day, it does matter. Some people don’t fix the hole in their roof when it is not raining because they do not need to and when it is raining they can’t fix it. That is the way many treat time. Rather we need to learn to number our days so that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (Psalm 90:12).
It is always a wise practice to make plans for the future. But those plans must be tempered with a knowledge that we do not know whether we will be able to bring them to fruition or not. We should have the attitude which James described: “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:15).
A new year has started but we do not know what it will bring. We only have this moment. Every day we wake is a new start for us. Every moment is a chance for a new beginning. As long as we have the breath of life our hearts can beat with the hope of a new beginning. We must redeem the time and use it wisely.
One day, after we have bravely crossed the ocean of time, we will come to the shores of eternity where time shall be no more. There we will face the destiny we have stored away for ourselves by the actions we have taken in this life. Until that day, we should live each moment for the Lord.
Eric L. Padgett