Scripture: Psalm 144:3 O LORD, what are human beings that you regard them, or mortals that you think of them? 4 They are like a breath; their days are like a passing shadow.
Observation: Unlike Psalm 143, which was likely written before David was king, the tone of Psalm 144 leads me to think this one may have been written much later. These verses in particular reflect the thoughts of one with many years behind him – as the more years that go by the shorter they become. David here is imagining what it’s like for an eternal God to ponder fleeting mortal humanity. Why give such value or concern for something that’s here and gone so quickly? Yet God sacrificed his only son for our sakes. Remarkable really.
Application: Life seems to be going by very quickly for me these days and I’m not sure what I think about that. There have been other times when life has seemed to slow to a crawl, but not lately. So when I read words like “(human beings) are like a breath, their days are like a passing shadow” it hits home. I feel like the mayfly who lives for 24 hours start to finish. So little time.
I suppose this is a blessing because there are many suffering, struggling people in the world for whom life is nothing but misery. Death would be a kindness for some, I get that. I’ve been with such people as they welcomed death like a warm embrace. But that’s not where I am right now, which leads me to some questions you might consider for yourself as well:
- What do I want to do with the life I have left? Am I already doing it? If not, what’s stopping me?
- Better yet, what does the Lord want me to do with the life I have left? Am I living into God’s purposes for me or not? If not, what’s stopping me?
- How would I live today if I knew it were my last? What unfinished business would I attend to?
Prayer: Lord, as you well know, mortal life is short. Give us grace that we might live it well. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.