Read: Psalm 39
Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.
The Psalmist is in pain. He is sick and trying to keep the information from his enemies. I understand the pain, but I’m not sure I would ask God to give me my expiration date. I think it is enough to live each day to the fullest and, frankly, who cares what my enemies think? Our days are numbered. None of us is getting out of here alive. A burial office of one sort or another will be prayed over each of us.
What I fear is reaching the end and never having lived in the first place. Perhaps the psalmist isn’t asking for a peek at his sell-by date, but to be reminded that he is mortal, and for the courage to live life to its fullest. Not in that “eat, drink, and be merry” sort of worldly stupidity, but in a “how may I experience and express the love of God to the best of my ability day by day?” sort of way.
When I hurt, I am prone to snap and snarl like a wounded dog. Healing comes in time and with time. Perhaps the psalmist is asking if he or she has time to heal. I hope so. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but it certainly can help, especially when we place ourselves in the hands of the One who holds the Hourglass, even when it hurts.
Lord, my days are numbered. Help me rise each day knowing you are there. Guide and direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose. Let me lie down in appreciation for the day ended, and in hope for the morrow. Amen.
-The Rev. Keith Axberg