This morning I calculated the number of days I’ve lived in God’s good earth. It is a number I wish could be applied to monies in a savings account or better yet, souls who gave their hearts to Christ in response to my witness. I was briefly paralyzed as I tried to comprehend what it meant to have lived longer than 20,000 days. Were I to live 20,000 more I would one day be declared the oldest man in the state of Georgia.
God has a way of reminding us of our mortality. He designed his creation so we could measure our days. The heavens determine our seasons. Man is powerless to prevent the seasons from coming. We know that summer will follow spring and fall will follow summer. What we don’t know is what the seasons bring with them. Will the winter be harsh and cruel or will it be mild mannered?
During this time of year (September) here in the southeastern United States we find ourselves looking eastward across the Atlantic because we know storms are developing off the west coast of Africa. These storms launch eastward, plowing through the warm and salty waters toward the American mainland. Sometimes they grow into mammoth hurricanes. We know they are coming but we can only approximate their strength and the direction they will take.
I have seen over 20,000 days get swallowed up in darkness of night. It is God’s daily reminder to us that we are mortal and the dark night of death might be delayed but it can never be prevented from coming to claim us.
There is a verse in Psalm 102 that brings comfort to those who struggle with the reality of limited years and numbered days. Though are lives are an hour glass turned over and the grains of sand are sifting quickly from top to bottom, we serve a God who is immortal and in his grace and love he is willing to share eternity with us. Psalm 102:27 “But you (God) remain the same, and your years will never end.” He never changes and he lives forever.
We like to imagine God as being Moses-like in his features. He has lived an infinite number of days so he must appear very old. Actually, because God is ageless he must be a picture of perfect youth. We would more accurately picture Him as being perpetually in his prime. His beauty never fades and his strength never wavers. He is unchanging and his years will never end.
There are certain things we as humans have experienced that God never has. We get old but God does not. We experience failure but God does not. He has never failed and nor can he ever fail. Failure is impossible to one who is omnipotent and omniscient. His strength is sufficient to destroy any enemy and his wisdom can solve any problem.
As the years pass we find ourselves seeking for something or someone to trust, someone who will not fail us in the end. You might believe you are secure because you have worked hard and saved wisely. Your account is stashed with enough retirement money to live comfortably through your old age. But the recent economic chaos seems to indicate that even the wisest and best economic minds cannot dispel the ominous economic clouds gathering on the horizon. Your nest egg might fail you.
Many put their trust in their own wisdom, their own ability to make good decisions but as the years pass the invisible knife severs the connection between the will and body. The mind tells the legs to run but they won’t run anymore. The mind might know the best thing to do but the doing of it may become impossible as infirmity binds us to failure. Where can we find comfort when contemplating such difficulties that lie ahead? The writer of Hebrews offers a phenomenal comfort when he repeats the message of the 102 Psalm in Hebrews 1:12 “You will roll them (years) up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”
Our days will pass and the years will drop off one by one until very few remain. We will then “roll them up like a robe.” Like shirts on a hanger, we will drape them one by one in the closet. But for those who have been made anew through the precious sacrifice of Christ, they will share eternity with him. Their years will never end.
We are like passengers on a ship at sea. We are at the mercy of the waves without a rudder to guide us. Were the lights of the heavens darkened we would be helplessly lost. We move through an atmosphere of oxygen and air that is more fragile than we realize. A few molecular changes in the atmosphere and it could be changed to water and we would drown or it could burst into flame and we would perish like marsh mellows dropped in a burn barrel. It is too fearful to think on.
But “Your years will never fail.” This earth is attached to an Eternal Anchor and if we as individuals fail to connect with him we have much to fear. But if we have humbly confessed our failures to One who never fails and if we have committed our years to One whose “years will never fail” then we are assured a place in the bosom of the Almighty who is willing to share with us his eternity!