This post is part of “30 days of Giving Thanks” To read more within this series, click here.
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
~ Psalm 90.10-12, ESV
Today I am 34.
It’s not exactly a landmark age. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I have to do the math when someone asks. I didn’t have that problem at 15, 21 or even 30. Yet as soon as I passed the 30 mark, I found myself calculating… To be honest, I had never really conceptualized much about life after 30. Yet, here I am, 4 years later, alive, still humming along and still feeling like I’m a twenty-something.
I still get carded when I purchase paint thinner.
People are surprised when I tell them I have three children.
Songs from high school are starting to creep into the oldies station… But not quite yet.
I am thankful for age. It’s not this particular number or period in my life to which I refer. It’s the marker of time, the landmarks by which we gauge where we are and what we are expected to do. I knew at 13 that I needed to work my tail off in high school if I wanted to make it into a good medical school at 23 (turns out I didn’t go that route, but the hard work paid off in other ways). I knew at 18 that I needed to persevere to get that college degree. I knew at 24 that I probably needed to consider having children if I wanted to enjoy my grandchildren before I didn’t have strength. I know today that our choices yesterday have consequences that echo long after tomorrow.
Each wrinkle reminds me to smile more and frown less—worries are here today and gone tomorrow and the Lord holds them in His omnipotent hand.
Each crease is one more step I have learned to take in faith and trust in the One who has the power to save.
Each sunspot is a marks days in the warm glow of that star, both in joy and in pain.
Old pictures remind me that I too was young once—making mistakes, unburdened by heavy cares, and unaware of swirling dangers.
My aging grandparents remind me that I will likely be in their place one day; I need to work on my walk with God now so that He will still be foremost in my mind when my faculties begin to fail. I need to root out bitterness now in order toage with grace.
Life really is short.
I need to reach out to those who do not know Christ today before they are beyond my small sphere of influence.
I need to live for Christ today, because there may be no tomorrow.
I need to love and train my children today because in the blink of an eye they will be adults.
I need to give thanks every day because my days are numbered. I don’t know how many days or years remain, but I pray that every single one will bring honor to the Lord.
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low—they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets—before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity…
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
~ Ecclesiastes 12.1-8; 13-14, ESV
If you do not know Jesus, ask me about Him today.
If you think you know the Lord, Press on to know Him more, for His coming IS as sure as the dawn. We will all stand before Him someday.