I’ll be starting a new prayer list tomorrow. If you have someone you would like to add to the list, please let me know.
The day we adopted our dog, there was a person who was asked one of the shelter employees about the life expectancy of the dog they were going to adopt. I thought it was a curious question to ask. It definitely seemed like a warranty question more than anything else. Like it or not, it caused me to have the same question travel around in my brain. As soon as I asked myself the question, I wondered what difference the answer would make to me. I was well aware that dog and cat years don’t even come close to human years. Then I reflected upon all the tiny beings that didn’t even make it weeks or months into their lives. In that sense, some dogs and cats have outlived many humans.
Would we be bold enough to ask the same question the day we learned we were going to have a baby? Would we actually want to know the answer to “how long” if the answer could be fully known? How would the answer affect the way we would treat each other if we knew the day of a person’s entrance and exit in this world? I think, for some, it might make a huge difference in the risk they were willing to take in getting into a relationship in the first place.
We do ask this question, don’t we? We do ask the “how long” question when our family members and friends are labeled with a terminal disease. When you think about it just a little, isn’t it truth I speak when I say that we are all terminal?
14:1 “We’re all adrift in the same boat: too few days, too many troubles.
2 We spring up like wildflowers in the desert and then wilt, transient as the shadow of a cloud.
3 Do you occupy your time with such fragile wisps? Why even bother hauling me into court?
4 There’s nothing much to us to start with; how do you expect us to amount to anything?
5 Mortals have a limited life span. You’ve already decided how long we’ll live—
you set the boundary and no one can cross it.
6 So why not give us a break? Ease up!
Even ditchdiggers get occasional days off.
7 For a tree there is always hope.
Chop it down and it still has a chance—
its roots can put out fresh sprouts.
8 Even if its roots are old and gnarled,
its stump long dormant,
9 At the first whiff of water it comes to life,
buds and grows like a sapling.
10 But men and women? They die and stay dead.
They breathe their last, and that’s it.
11 Like lakes and rivers that have dried up,
parched reminders of what once was,
12 So mortals lie down and never get up,
never wake up again—never.
13 Why don’t you just bury me alive,
get me out of the way until your anger cools?
But don’t leave me there!
Set a date when you’ll see me again.
14 If we humans die, will we live again? That’s my question.
All through these difficult days I keep hoping,
waiting for the final change—for resurrection!
15 Homesick with longing for the creature you made,
you’ll call—and I’ll answer!
16 You’ll watch over every step I take,
but you won’t keep track of my missteps.
17 My sins will be stuffed in a sack
and thrown into the sea—sunk in deep ocean.
18 “Meanwhile, mountains wear down
and boulders break up,
19 Stones wear smooth
and soil erodes,
as you relentlessly grind down our hope.
20 You’re too much for us.
As always, you get the last word.
We don’t like it and our faces show it,
but you send us off anyway.
21 If our children do well for themselves, we never know it;
if they do badly, we’re spared the hurt.
22 Body and soul, that’s it for us—
a lifetime of pain, a lifetime of sorrow.”
Job asserts that we are given a certain amount of days in our lives and we do not know that number. Job admits the frustration in not knowing how many days and that God has all the answers.
How do you believe you would be affected if you knew how many years you would have to your life? If your parents were given the amount of years you would live, do you think they would tell you when you were able to understand? When would be the right age to tell anyone how long they had to live? If you knew that you had only one week left to live, would you be more likely to live just like it was any other day? If you were told you have at least 30 more years to live or only have 30 more years to live, would you wait until you were way farther down the road before you make any changes? Have a day!
In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they would most like to do in their life
Remember in Prayer: Heidi, Barb, Sue & family, Melissa & family, Arlyne, Carolyn & Randy, Alice & Gary, Scott, Marj, Becky, Angela, Jeff & family, Tragic loss in Orlando, Shirley, Ann, Natalie, Earl, Heidi, Linda M., Linda B., Karsten & family, Dan, Sharon, Michael, Rick, Donna, Marc, Vivian, Tim, Jean, Frank, Luke, and for all those in need of God’s healing.
And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Donna, Earl, Rachel, Corrine, Susan, Louise, Jette, Kristen, Eva, Jane, Jim, Martha, Joyce, Jim & Linda, Sue, Ward, Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe
Prayer: O God, we give you thanks for the gift of this day. Help us to stay in each moment and follow your lead. Bring us into the conversations that are helpful to you. Give us the words to say and may we bring you honor. Amen
Your E-Votional Servant
© 2016 Lucia Oerter
All rights reserved
The Message Bible – contemporary translation
A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX