Teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
I had placed the beautiful red tulips that my husband brought home to me in the middle the center island where they would be in front of me when I worked at the kitchen sink. When I first placed them in the square glass vase, none of the buds had opened up yet, but in just two days they were in full bloom. A couple of days later some were already beginning to droop and lose petals.
My husband used to think that buying flowers was foolish; here today and gone tomorrow did not meet his standard of practicality. But thankfully he regularly brings them home knowing how happy flowers make me. There is something about a flower, it’s intricacy and beauty, that I am drawn to. I love how each one, even from the same plant, is different in size and in shape and each flower adds something to a bouquet as a whole.
In Psalms 103:15-16, David likens human life to that of a flower: “as for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field. For the wind passes over it and it is gone and its place knows it no more.”
As grandmother to very young children and daughter to an aging mom, I see how this analogy makes sense. I watch my grandchildren grow and blossom, each uniquely in their own special ways, and so quickly! And then I consider my mom whose skills and abilities, in her phase of life, are falling off one by one.
Wednesday morning, I held Beth, my two-week-old granddaughter, gazing at her soft pink skin, rosebud lips and innocent eyes. Later in the day, I flew across the country to spend time with my mom. When I return back home on Sunday, Beth will have changed, even in a few days, and the tulips on my counter – they will be gone forever. And I wonder, will I see my mom again or will she pass on before my next trip?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of teaching our children what it means to fear God and at the same time encourage them to run fearlessly into His arms. I find it interesting that the flower analogy in this Psalm is nestled within a declaration of this contrast. In fact immediately following the analogy, we read in verse 17 “but the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him.”
It’s a peculiar connection – one that I have been contemplating and here’s my thought: Perhaps we need to fear missing what’s most important in the course of life – missing His loving purpose for us.
Will I have squeezed out of life all that God had in mind for me?
And what will I have done with the most important message – LOVE. Will I have embraced God’s love and allowed it to set me free? Will I have loved my husband well? Do my adult children remember me as a loving mother and how do they see me now? Do my grandchildren know how much I love and value them?
Or will tomorrow arrive and my opportunities to love them well be over?
Life is fleeting, yet in the journey God is loving and compassionate. “As a father shows compassion toward His children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:13) May we embrace His love and declare it to others and make the most of today while it is still here.
It’s never too late to walk to embrace His promises and to walk in His purposes for you.
What is God asking of you today?