I wrote this in Feb. of 2005 after attending Kedric Hobbs’ funeral. I gave a copy to Randy Hobbs,his dad, not knowing that I would be attending his funeral only a short time later. A funeral service, at my age, gives me somber pause as I reflect on my own mortality. As Dr. Dobson says, “None of us are going to get out of this journey alive”. I am hoping that my thoughts will ring true to you and you will approach every day with a purpose to make it count for the Lord. We all need to remember to “number our days”..
This question leapt out at me recently as I attended a young man’s funeral service. This bright, physically fit, well-liked 21-year-old had been snatched from his parents and from this life prematurely and unfairly by a drunk driver. Hundreds of people were at the funeral and many testimonies to this wonderful young man were given. He had been an uncharacteristically mature Christian, compared to most of his peers. He studied his Bible, had prayer time, was a soul winner, and had a heart for his fellow man. It was a horrible loss for mankind, not just his family.
I thought about myself as a 21-year-old What if f God had come to take me then? What would they have said about me as far as my walk with Christ was concerned? What about my two boys? What would they say about them? What about me now?
Psalm 90:12 keeps coming to my mind. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I looked and found Psalm 39:4-6:
“Show me, O LORD, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man’s life is but a breath.
Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it…
I remember my dad and my mom’s funerals and how pleased I was that so many people had come to pay their respects. Surely, their life had counted – they had helped and influenced and made an impact on the people who had come. I remember the strong thoughts coming to my mind; that this is really all there is — if you have helped your fellow man, if you have shown him or encouraged him in his walk with the Lord. These are things that matter when you’re gone. This is the eternal, heavenly things the Bible tells us to focus on.
Lord, please don’t let me waste what’s left of my days. Don’t let me spend any unnecessary time trying to accumulate stuff that won’t matter when I’m gone. Give me a heart for people, make me take time to help them bear their burdens and give them a little heaven on earth. Give me the attentiveness and the “chutzpah” to tell people about you and what you have to offer. Let me delight in you and seek you first. You have reminded me often, that if people want to know what you are like, they are supposed to be able to see it in me.
Teach me to number my days. Don’t let me waste them. When my time comes, I want people to say, “he told me about Jesus”, “he was a big influence on my walk with the Lord”; “he prayed”, “he was a man of the text”, he helped me out when I was down”, all of these things that will matter for eternity.
Colossians 3:17, “7And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Lord, at my funeral, please let them say I was like you, and was one of your witnesses so that the world may know.
About the author:
Bob is the creator of this site and a disciple of Ray Vander Laan. Along with his wife of 50 years, he teaches a Bible study at Christ’s Church in Roswell, NM. He is also an avid hunter and fisher.