Daily Devotion - Thursday, January 7, 2016
A little over a year ago, Facebook added a new feature that provides daily reminders of some of your most well liked posts from the same day over the past several years. It's kind of like an "On This Day in Your History" kind of thing. You can access memories from a year ago, or go farther back with two years or more--even as far as eight years on some days.
I love this feature, to be honest. In fact, I kind of look forward to reading through them every day. Just yesterday, I showed my sons some photos I had posted on Facebook six years ago. We were celebrating the beginning of the new year in Florida with the same dear friends that we travelled to Chicago to see this past week.
My family has changed a great deal over the past six years and the photos revealed just how much. When those photos were posted, my oldest son was a freshman in high school, and my middle son was only five years old. We had only just made the announcement that Merideth was pregnant with our littlest boy, Jacob. I had a lot less grey in my beard then, too, but quite a few more pounds on me, which was a good trade off, I suppose.
When I look at my daily reminders on Facebook of the memories from years gone by, I am struck by how quickly time passes. I once heard it said that when you are raising a family, mired in work, dealing with hard issues, struggling with ill health, and other kinds of challenges that the days can seem so very long, but the years are short.
"Show me, Lord, my life's end and the number of my days," the psalmist wrote in Psalm 39:4, "let me know how fleeting my life is." In Psalm 90:12 the songwriter entreats God to teach us to "number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Author Shane Hipps once shared that the average person has about 25,550 days of life, maybe a little more, but not much. "I hate to break it to you," he said, "but for many of you, most of those days are gone."
So what do we do with this time that we have left? How do we live more fully, realizing that we have a finite number of days on this earth? As followers of Christ we are called to enter into each day with a sense of hope that is fueled by the joy of the resurrection.
Each new day, each new year is a sign and symbol that God is still making all things new. Fretting, worrying, being filled with anxiety or dread each day have no part in a life lived in the hope of Christ.
Jesus asked his disciples once, "Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" He then went on to tell them, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all of the things [that you are worrying about] will be resolved." (Matthew 6:27, 33)
May you be filled with hope and joy at the prospect of this new day you have been given as a gift. May you enter into this new year full of expectation as you number your days, and count them a blessing. May you seek God's kingdom and the heavenly Way of Jesus, discovering along the way that all your needs are met. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.