Give us gladness

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

As a young girl, it seemed as though time passed so slowly - making any 'waiting period' almost unbearable. Summer vacation away from the daily routine of school seemed like an eternity. The coming of Christmas took eons, with Christmas Eve being one of the longest days of the year for any child. When you were waiting for a day to come, the minutes passed slowly. As I have aged, time passes much more quickly - days pass without even realizing the week is gone. Perhaps time passes so slowly for the young because of all they still dream of doing. Maybe time passes so quickly for those who are in their older years because there aren't as many dreams that remain. The best we can do is live our life well today - because we have no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Moses is the author of this psalm. He spends some time rehearsing the various things God has done for Israel as a nation, but he comes to this point after remembering that even with all God had done for them, they still found themselves with sin in their lives. In other words, they didn't always act as wisely as they should have, choosing to do their own thing instead of following the wisdom of God's counsel. They sometimes found they were left to their own devices until the pain and suffering of those choices caused them to turn again to their Lord. There is wisdom found in Moses' words - because he hopes in the mercy of God and in the power of God to set them back on course with him. Why? Life is brief and choosing to live it with self-determination is no way to live it.

O Lord, come back to us! How long will you delay? Take pity on your servants! Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. (Psalm 90:13-15)

Even if we have chosen to pursue God's best in our lives, no doubt there may come a time when we diverge a bit from that path - not always intentionally. The choices we made in haste, or without intentional thought and God's wisdom, led us away from the closeness we once had with him. As we realize the distance growing, we may actually become quite determined to 'find our way back' to that place of closeness with him. It is not uncommon for us to actually use words like Moses did all those years ago. "How long..." "Come back..." "Replace the evil..." All our pleas stem from one thing we know about our God - he gives grace. If you find yourself on a divergent path today, know this - God is more than able to replace the evil with good. All we need to do is acknowledge our need and he is right there to restore us. Just sayin!

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