I will turn 30 on Saturday. Every year on my birthday I read Psalm 90, which has long been my favorite Psalm. It reminds me of the briefness of life, and encourages me to live each day in light of eternity.
Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Only when I remember that this life is not all there is, can I use my days wisely. Otherwise the temptation is to live for joy in this life. Yet this psalm points out the two problems with this. Psalm 90:9 says, “All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan.” The first problem in living for this life is that often this life is full of sorrow, which is a result of sin corrupting everything in this world. Psalm 90:10 days, “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” The second problem in living for this life is that even our best days are tainted with sorrow because we know that this pleasure is only temporary. Even the best most joyful moments will pass, and that is painful. Every parent knows this feeling of sadness as our children grow up. Everyone who looks back at “the good old days” is missing that which once was. So what do we do with all of this? We look forward to heaven, when there will be no more sorrow, and joy will be permanent. Psalm 90:14 says, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days,” and one day, He will.
We’ve had our share of joys and sorrows this month. Our baby nephew Peter was born, but due to some heart issues, lived only two short weeks before he passed away. One year ago this month, some friends of ours and their children were killed in a car accident on their way to missionary training. These things are not supposed to happen. Life is not supposed to be this way. Yes, God can and will use things for good, but this wasn’t His original design. God designed us to live forever and be in perfect fellowship with Him. But ever since sin came into the world, everything on earth has felt the effects. There is death, disease, and sorrow. Even joyous things are now tainted. My parents came to visit us, and we spent a wonderful week with them. We are so thankful for that time. And yet, they had to leave, and we now are missing them. So where do we look for hope? If life is hard in the difficult times and the joyous times? We can hope because we know that this life is not all there is! Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and rose from the dead. He has promised that those who believe in Him will spend eternity in heaven with Him, where there is no pain, no death, no passing of time. We were made for eternity, so that is why we long for it. Let’s not minimize our pain and call it unspiritual. Let’s grieve when sorrows come, knowing that they remind us that we are not home yet. And then let’s rejoice that our hope for heaven is real.
Till All Know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck Long
(Tribal Church Planters in Papua New Guinea)
Founded in 1942 as New Tribes Mission
– For our family, especially, Stephanie and Jason, Peter’s parents, as they grieve his passing away
– For friends and family of the Pal family, who passed away a year ago
– That when we grieve or when we get glimpses of heaven’s joy, it will point us to long for heaven
– We got to have sweet time with Karissa’s parents
– He is in control, and we can trust Him to work everything out for the good of those who love Him