Next week, Betty White would be celebrating her 100th birthday. America’s favorite Golden Girl and Snickers seller did not succeed at all. As reported by national and international media, White died on New Year’s Eve, just two and a half weeks before her 100th birthday.
Another death occurred on December 31, 2021. However, national and international news did not report on this. A grandmother from my church called me late that night just before midnight to tell me that her 7-month-old granddaughter had died suddenly. The young Cataleya was born with a twisted bowel, which doctors never diagnosed. On December 31, the intestine ruptured, filling her body with deadly venom.
Neither Betty White nor little Cataleya lived to see 2022 here on earth.
I’m assuming, if you are reading this article, you find yourself somewhere between the age of young Cataleya and Betty White. Their death should serve as a reminder that for none of us is it guaranteed that we will live to see 2023.
If Jesus does not come first, you will die one day. I will die one day. Along with taxes, this is a security. And, although the deadline for paying your taxes has been clearly announced ahead of time (April 18 if you are asking), your deadline here on earth is not. We do not know how many days, weeks, months or other years we have left on this planet.
In Psalm 90, Moses prayed to God, Teach us to count our days in order (Psalm 90:12).
Moses was not asking God for help with mathematics. He was not asking God to help us count how many days we have lived. He was asking God to help us understand that our days here on earth are numbered.
To count our days properly means to realize that one day we will die. To count our days properly means to admit that we do not know how many days we have left here on earth. To count our days properly means to live each day as if it were the last.
However, this does not mean that we live every day with the fear of death. We count our days right here on earth knowing that we have an eternity that awaits us in the bliss of heaven. Jesus lived 33 years this year and died on a dark Friday to earn forgiveness for you for all the times you did not count your days properly for all the time you lost and all the days you lost. You are completely forgiven through faith in Jesus. You have an eternal home waiting for you in paradise because of him.
But that perspective changes the way we view our time here on earth. It changes the way we live every day. We live, not focused on the here and now, but in the hereafter. We live for what lived and died for us. We make the most of every day, knowing it can be the last.
As we look forward to this new year ahead of us, may God help us count our days. We do not know how many more days we have left here on earth. However, through faith in Jesus, we know that we are waiting forever in heaven.
Live every day this year with that perspective.
– Pastor Andrew Schroer has been pastor for over 20 years and is currently serving in the Lutheran Redemptive Church with campuses in Edna and Victoria, Texas. Read more of his dedication writing and contact him at 364DaysofThanksgiving.com. His new book “364 Days of Devotion” is now available amazon.com.
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