Once Upon a Time


Father, help me to learn the value of silence and to be still now and wait for Your still, small voice.


READ: PSALM 39:1-13

[1] For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David. I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.”  [2] So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased;  [3] my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:  [4] “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.  [5] You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.  [6] “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.  [7] “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.  [8] Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools.  [9] I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this.  [10] Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand.  [11] When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin, you consume their wealth like a moth- surely everyone is but a breath.  [12] “Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were.  [13] Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again before I depart and am no more.”



Something has compelled David to maintain silence. He has desisted from any kind of speech—criticism of others or praise (1,2). But his frustration is palpable. He wants to speak but cannot, maybe because he has taken a vow of silence and cannot break it. His need for communication and immediate expression is powerful. He wants to let rip (3)! But he longs for a sense of perspective to get him out of his plight. It may sound morbid, but he asks God that he might live his life in the light of impending death (4–6). As David ponders the brevity of life, he hopes that this will puncture the bubble of his need. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes exhorts us to “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (Eccles. 12:1) and “before the silver cord is severed” (Eccles. 12:6). Gaining an eternal view of our lives may be the wisest thing we can ever do. Try and see beyond today with its clamor and busyness, mentally fast forwarding to your last ever day in this life.



Are you comfortable with the way you are living your life now, given that your time is short and eternity is forever?



Lord, help me to be aware that my time here is short and my eternal investments last forever.


Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Andrew Miller