Counting the Days

The end of term for a teacher, a birthday or Christmas for a child, the expected birth date of a baby, holidays for everyone. We count the days, sometimes for months; they all matter.

Counting the Days

Never mind the six months until your holidays, have you ever thought about counting the days of something much more important. How about the days of your life?

Did you know that if you live for seventy years you have around 25,500 days and living for eighty years amounts to 29,200 days? It sounds a big number, but how many people live to be eighty years old? The sobering reality is that no one knows how long they will live.

You have started into 2022, but ask yourself the question: “how many days will I have?” We all probably expect to be here this time next year, but if you stop to think, especially given the global events of the last couple of years, it does seem presumptuous to be so certain of the 365 days of 2022.The Bible has many reminders of the brevity and uncertainty of life. Here are a couple of verses which are worth considering:

“The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)

Moses, who lived for 120 years, after reflecting on the contrast between man’s mortality and God’s eternity, wrote :-

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

Although we have seen that counting days is not difficult, what Moses wrote about –numbering our days – is a different matter altogether. Realising our own mortality is not the same as responding to the implications of the numbers. For that we need the help of God. Otherwise, we will go on prevaricating and failing to face the truth that, although ten out of ten people die, ten out of ten people do not die old.

We need the Lord to teach us the value of our days. He will instruct us in the stewardship of those precious days. Left to ourselves we will try to fit in as many selfish ambitions, bucket list items and experiences as we can. Carpe diem – seize the day (for those that don’t read Latin!), let tomorrow take care of itself.

Moses knew what he was writing about when he wrote Psalm 90. He had numbered his days and decided to spend them wisely.

“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)

Moses turned his back on a life of wealth and pleasure in Egypt to make his days count for God. Rather than seizing the day for himself, he began a life of faith in God and for God. Yet even Moses still looked to the Lord to continually help him evaluate his days and give him a heart of wisdom to spend them wisely.

What is wisdom?

“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.’” (Job 28:28)

Jon Bloom wrote an article entitled, “What if you had one week to live?” He began by quoting some of the lyrics of a song written in 1972.

“If I could save time in a bottle,
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day till eternity passes away,
Just to spend them with you.

There never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them.”

Jim Croce was twenty-nine years old when he wrote the song. Little did he know that he would die aged only thirty.

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


Photo credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya