My Temporary Life – Psalm 39

During this end-of-harvest time and these days when many celebrate Halloween, I see reminders of how short our time on earth is. Life as we know it now will not stay the same.

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am” (Psalm 39:4 ESV).

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“Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath. Selah” (verse 5).

“Surely a man goes about as a shadow. Surely for nothing they are in turmoil. Man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather” (verse 6).

An angry and embarrassed pre-teen, I hid the tears rolling down my face when headlights approached my position at the side of the dusty road. A long line of cousins and friends with their families who had shared the most marvelous adventures during the week of Camp Meeting were now abandoning me. I’d never felt so alive and joyful as I had just hours before, and I was sure this was what heaven would be like. But now it was over. 

I can “heap up wealth,” collecting things or people or events that bring me pleasure, but it may all be for nothing. This life as I know it, is not the heaven I yearn for. This life must come to an end, but the psalmist reminds me in verse 7 where to put my hope.

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you” (verse 7).

by Kathy Sheldon Davis