The most significant dash ever

Psalm 90 has a timely message for every generation. In it, Moses lays out the realities of life in such a way, that should cause deep retrospect in every person. As you read this psalm, ponder your life. Consider how you are living now and how your life will end. Think on what really matters, in light of the realities that Moses teaches through Psalm 90.

"Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You return man to dust and say, "Return, O children of man!" For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.

For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. 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. Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!" (Psalm 90)

We are not like the everlasting God. For we are finite flesh that is here today and will be gone tomorrow (1 Peter 1:24-25). We are like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:14). Our lives will quickly come to an end, and we all will return to dust (Psalm 90:3).

In light of this, we must number our days. We need to make the most of the time that we have. We need to live in light of the reality that our days are few. To do this requires a heart of wisdom, and to live like this is to be truly wise.

Like Moses, make it your prayer for God to give you a heart of wisdom. And wake up every morning, numbering your days. For many, that means coming to your senses and seeing that God knows your secret sins (Psalm 90:8). He will lay them bare and confront you with His wrath (Psalm 90:7-8). And so, you must seek the favour of the Lord (Psalm 90:17). That is your only hope, in light of the grim reality that your life will soon end and you will stand before God the judge of every secret sin (Psalm 90:8). Come to Jesus, because God has shown His favour ultimately in the gift of Jesus Christ. In Jesus' sacrifice, you find the favour of God, which comes by faith.

And for those who have this hope, you need to wake up every morning making the most of the short life you have, which has been bought by the blood of Christ. During my teen years the reality of numbering my days was often present. I didn't want to waste the life that God had given me! One thing that helped me do this, was a poem by Linda Ellis, which I put up on my bedroom door. I hope it will help you number your days, as it did for me when I was a teen. And I pray it will cause you to live in light of eternity, and honour Jesus with every breath.

"I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears,

but said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth,

And now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars…the house…the cash.

What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more,

And love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile

…remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash,

Would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?"

Do not waste the dash between your birth and death. Live well for God's glory. And remember that only what you do for Jesus will last into eternity.

Article by Will AitkenNovember 12, 2021