The day counters

Are you a day counter? You know, a person who counts days.  I recently learned there are apps for that! You can countdown the days from now until the start of something or you can count down days until the end of something. And yes, you can also count the days from something in the past.

As an example, today, if we were counting days, we would find ourselves 19,244+ days from the date of my birth, 13,428+ days since my dad died, 3572+ days since my wedding and 40+/- days until Easter. How do I know, because there’s an app for that! And, the cultural day counters are always telling me how many shopping days I have left until the next commercial holiday. Now that we’re one day past Valentines, their countdown begins to St Patrick’s day, 29 days away; Easter, 48 days away; and for those really committed cultural commodity day counters, it is now just 258 days to Halloween and 313 until Christmas.

For most people, 2020 became a year of day counting related to COVID. Countdowns in quarantine, countdowns for particular cities, states or nations related to shutdowns; countdowns until our favorite restaurant or school would reopen; countdowns to when we could travel; countdowns to seeing one another face to face and, yes, countdowns to the next Zoom call. We all became day counters of a strange kind in 2020.

But from a Gospel worldview, what does it mean to count our days? Certainly God knows the number of our days but the Christian life is not just a countdown to death that we might see Jesus face to face. That’s GREAT but God intends that we not only count our days but live for Him in a way that makes our days count.

Let’s look at Psalm 90.  We can see there a rhythm of counting: God counts our days and our sins against us; we can count on God to forgive; and we pray that God would use the works of our hands to make our days count. As you read the Psalm, can you see those three movements?

Psalm 90 is called, “A prayer of Moses, the man of God.” (Seems worth noting that Moses was a day counter! He knew something about passing the time and his life can be marked in 40 year and 40 day, pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, manna from heaven, increments.)

Psalm 90 verse 14 alludes to the Israelites journey through the wilderness and the rhythm of collecting manna each morning for the day’s needs: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love.” God literally satisfied their hunger day by day. You could count on it! And you needed to count because on the sixth day you had to gather the double portion God sent in order that on the seventh day, you could keep the Sabbath. The Israelites were day counters.

How are you counting your days right now? Are you just biding your time or are you actively abiding in time? Are you counting days or are you asking God to make your days count for His glory?

No one but God knows the number of our days but we do know that He has, by grace, given us THIS day. This is the day the Lord has made and given us that we might make it count for Him. How then shall we live this day that God might establish the works of our hands thus making the day truly count?