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Singing Psalm 90 to count time wisely

What is it to count time wisely? What are some things you spend your time on?

Resting, worshipping God, being with and enjoying God, family, and friends, self-care: cleansing, meals, exercise, sleep, commuting to work, working, presenting, performing, checking on email, texts, social media, sports, responding/reacting to those, appointments, meetings, reading, praying, writing, thinking, meditating, paperwork, paying bills, organizing for tax returns, writing letters/cards, visiting and/or corresponding, listening, serving, teaching, counseling, cleaning and maintaining your clothing and the inside and outside of your car and home, planning, organizing, preparing, cooking, hobbies, entertainment, traveling, being thankful, being interrupted, being sidetracked or turned around, experiencing loss, missing loved ones, getting delayed, being flexible, showing kindness, being sick, recovering, getting tempted, resisting it or giving in, repenting, seeking forgiveness, accepting grace, being joyful in it all, forgetting, making changes, adjustments, reasoning or making excuses, weighing choices, seeking advice and counsel, diagnosing, deliberating, negotiating, anticipating, rationalizing, masking, being transparent, caring or not caring enough, thinking and meditating on what to give and how to give to communicate love, falling short, disappointing, asking for help, accepting help, counting others as more important than yourself, counting yourself as more important than others. You might have different routines and habits, but many things most people do, and some things everyone does. If you have nothing else in common, the equalizers are time spent in the kitchen/dining area, bathroom, and bedroom. We all must eat and drink, release waste, and sleep in order to live.

You can count time by your meals. So much time is spent, as someone shared with a chuckle, either thinking about food, planning what food to eat, shopping for food, preparing food, cooking food, eating food, or cleaning up afterwards. What if we spent as much time feeding our souls? You don’t live on food alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. He’s given us the richness of his word. Will you ignore it and starve or count time wisely as you feast on it and thrive? As you sing Psalm 90, you also learn to count time wisely and grow incrementally in gastronomic humility. When you become God’s, your god is no longer your belly, but you sense God’s presence continually and love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place   Through all the ages of our race.Even before the mountains’ birth,   Before the time You formed the earth,From years which no beginning had   To years unending, You are God.” ~ Psalm 90:1-2

Singing Psalm 90 you count time wisely enough to taste the Lord’s goodness each week

When you taste and see that the Lord is good, there is a gleam in your eye at some point as you begin the week each Lord’s day. You don’t have the words to describe this wonderful treasure that you have just found. You just know that it is so good that you would sell everything you have to own it for yourself.

“You turn man back to dust again,    You say, ‘Return, O sons of men.’To You a thousand years will last    Like yesterday when it had passed;A thousand years are in your sight    Brief like the watches of the night.” ~ Psalm 90:3-4

The Lord would count time of a thousand years as you might experience an overnight camping trip. As you stare up into the open sky before falling asleep, when you awaken, it would be to the Lord as if a thousand years had passed. In similar fashion, a thousand years are an overnight stay. God sees time in a different dimension-totally higher and other than we do. He takes his time with you to draw to himself your heart and soul and body to love him who first loved you.

“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” ~ 2 Peter 3:8-13

At church service this past Sunday, Jonas Davison, a missionary from Tokyo shared that the two Japanese characters 忙 that combine for the word “busy” are “heart” and “death” meaning that when you are busy, your heart is dead. He shared how being busy squeezes out connection with others and the Spirit. The idea is that if you are already so full, you cannot be filled. A loose quote from Jonas: “You are working from prepared ground. Thousands of years ago, the Lord embedded this message into these characters so that we could mine it in our day.”

You count time by your days of rest and worship as you begin each week knowing that the choices you make with your body you make for the entire body of Christ, the church. Will you uphold her as pure or drag her through the mud? We are spiritually all a part of one another. When you slow down long enough to genuinely connect with your brothers and sisters in Christ, with family, friends, and neighbors, you count time wisely. The Sabbath rest actually unites you in a heartfelt relationship with God who rested and helps you to obey the word of God as you rest in him:

“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” ~ Hebrews 4:9-13

Singing Psalm 90 you count time wisely enough to ingest the Lord’s meat each day

You are learning to feed yourself at each meal every day. Your mind and heart are fed with the most tender, delicious morsels. You can’t get enough and you can’t help but share from your rich portions with anyone who will listen. You’re taking in copious amounts of God‘s word, but it is mixing with other teachings in such a way as to cause digestive issues. You ate the whole fish and haven’t yet spit out the bones from the many books you have read along the way. You inadvertently regurgitate distastefully as you share with others. You still think it is the most wonderful thing, but you are still learning how to understand and share about this most wonderful gospel of Jesus. Since you have such a great treasure, and you know that there is nothing else like it, you have thoughts of one day being as wise as God as you continue feasting on his sumptuous word. It tastes good, but you can’t take too much without burping it up. But whatever you do digest, it nourishes you.

“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” ~ Hebrews 5:14

Jacob blessed Pharaoh as he shared that his years were few and difficult. Yet the Lord graciously gave him many years with Joseph after he had been without him, and even more, the Lord let Jacob know that he himself had been with him all his life guiding him and protecting him wherever he went.

“For our life’s years are seventy,    Or eighty years the strong may see.Our years at best are toil and woe,    How soon they end, and then we go.Who has Your anger understood?    Who fears Your fury as he should?” ~ Psalm 90:10-11

You count time wisely as you ponder your finite number of days and say “no” to self-interest and “yes” to pleasing God. God has preserved his epic story so that you can know him and what pleases him truly, albeit not exhaustively, from daily ingesting and deeply drinking in his word.

Nothing can make you more given to a low boil steady state of anger, a continual irritability where you snap at those you love at the slightest provocation, as being uncertain of the Lord’s love for you. When you are uncertain of God’s love for you, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to believe anyone else could truly love you. This leads to loneliness, a bigger health crisis in the United States than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. What would enable you to count time wisely each day? Trusting God.

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,

‘Today, if you hear his voice,do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’

“For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” ~ Hebrews 3:12-19

Jesus came to save you from your incorrect perception of God and to set the matter straight. He asks you to come to him. He alone can give you rest from your frenetic pace. You can count time to rest your mind and body with thoughts of his comfort. You look forward to his warm, welcoming embrace. You let go of worry and the friction it causes as the Lord is the buffer that cushions your ride through life. Even in going through trials, God makes your journey a joyful one.

Jesus came to set things straight so that you don’t have to fear a quick-to-be-angry father but can approach his throne of grace with confidence through the blood of Christ. Jesus took God’s fury against sin upon himself to free you up to count time wisely, to get out of your own way, and to see clearly the good things that God has in store for you. He has guaranteed his gracious presence by his Spirit. You count time eagerly awaiting your acquisition of the inheritance he has for you.

What is the best way to count the time? How can you best use discretionary time? Jesus said my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Paul said to make the most of the time since the days are evil. You thank the Lord that although you might not have done one stitch of work in the home as far as cooking, cleaning, or laundry today, he brings you to connect with him on so many levels thereby enhancing your connection with others. You praise him and are in awe of his perfect shepherding. How you count time some days will be more physical, some more relational, some more thoughtful.

If your motives have been impugned, you might count time feeling like an imposter, wondering if others see you as a charlatan who puts himself out there without anything worthwhile to say but only to gain an audience. Although some do that, you count time day after day over months and years for your true colors to show through. When your understanding of work is one-dimensional, you think it is all on your shoulders. You might feel the need to justify your existence, to prove your worth by the work you do as if you initiated the idea of work. You want so strongly to be a blessing to others, to anticipate needs and meet them although at times you have no idea how to communicate through the myriad of emotions twisted up inside. Singing Psalm 90 brings to light that your work is established by the Lord. You can wait for him to establish it. You learn to count time not in how much you can do but in how you are blessed with God’s presence in close friendship. A friend shared the image of how we can sometimes ram ourselves through closed doors breaking them down in order to open them ourselves! Wait on the Lord Jesus instead who establishes the work of your hands. You praise him for giving you good work to do, good ways to count time. Even though you are limited and therefore won’t accomplish all the good you set out to do, you savor each moment Jesus gives you as you await his return to take you home. You chew the food he gives you well enough to digest it. Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for accompanying your people each day of our journey as you are taking us each step of the way to home!

“On us may there be shed abroad

Good favor from the Lord our God.

What our hands made, establish sure,

So that our labors may endure;

Yes, may the labor of our hands

Be made by You to ever stand.“ ~ Psalm 90:17

Singing Psalm 90 you count time wisely enough to be satisfied in the Lord each moment

“O teach us how to count our days    And set our heart on wisdom’s ways.How long, O LORD? O now return    And for Your servants show concern.Each morning fill us with your grace;    We’ll sing for joy through all our days.” ~ Psalm 90:12-14

You can kill time, but you can’t create it. What is one reason you kill time? Believing the Lord doesn’t care for you.

With one lie, Satan turned mankind upside down. He painted God as unreasonably angry to impose death for disobedience and portray God‘s command as depriving mankind of good things as if he is somehow threatened by humans and embittered that he made them. You kill time when you see God as unapproachable. You waste away the days hiding from him. The truth is, he is slow to anger and abounding in love. He stopped those who would be independent from him in their tracks because he knows the self-destructive evil that results from not depending on him. He made you and knows your frame. He knows you are dust, and dust can’t rule the world with Jesus without being transformed by the one who created it. But as long as you see God as uncaring, you kill time running from him instead of running to him. It is impossible to count time wisely when you are isolated and making a wreck of your relationships because you misunderstand what God thinks of you. You become what you incorrectly think God is, embittered and threatened.

To kill time is to waste it or use it unprofitably. A trying marriage kills an incredible amount of time and energy from the husband and wife that would otherwise be channeled into serving their children, church family, extended family, neighbors, and friends. Count time wisely by using it to connect with your children and serve others together rather than engage in fruitless arguing, worrying, lashing out, or distracting yourself with addictive outlets like overworking or getting yourself into an altered state to forget the time you are wasting or to put out of mind the people you are neglecting.

The Lord tested Abraham’s faith in his promise and goodness when he told Abraham to sacrifice his son of the covenant, Isaac. The Lord tested Moses’ understanding of the Lord’s humility and goodness in caring for others to his own hurt when he proposed to Moses that he would destroy his idolatrous people and make a great nation of Moses. The Lord teaches you to count time right by considering the ways the Lord is testing you so that you would know with certainty what you are made of, and that you would be deeply confident that your heart is a heart after his own heart!

“And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”

“But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’” And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.” ~ Exodus 32:7-14

Moses beseeched the Lord to forgive the idolatry of his people and to go with them since that is what makes them distinct from the other nations. The Lord is with them. If not, Moses asked to be blotted out of God’s book. The Lord responded that those who sinned against him will be blotted out of his book. God is confirming here that Moses’ stance on caring for God’s people above himself is pleasing to him. It is safe to imitate Moses’ humility because it is what makes him like God more than any other characteristic. The food Jesus gives you is satisfying.

Just as God shut the door behind Noah once he was safe in the ark and opened it once it was safe to walk out of it, the Lord, who is your constant best friend, will lead you to stay put or go as clearly as he was in the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. He lays your emotions side-by-side enabling you to distinguish among them, directs you to answer them as you count time aright, and attunes your mind to give each feeling the attention it requires whether little or much. He makes straight what is crooked. You praise him that he seeks you, his servant, “who, like a sheep, has strayed.” ~ Psalm 119:76 Be careful to count time wisely to receive and not refuse the Lord’s wise guidance.

Finally, you have learned to feast on this great banquet to the point where each moment in the midst of your labors of love you are completely and utterly satisfied. This satisfaction doesn’t lead to complacency, but to a peaceful contentment that has time to consider the particular dishes that would best yield a balanced plate of nutrients and place a gleam in each person’s eye that you encounter, so that they would taste and see that the Lord is good, and that they, too, cannot get enough of him and his ways. His ways are so tasty to your rejuvenated palate. He is satisfying above all.

You can’t wait to get into God’s word more, although you are in it more than you ever have been. You are able to take it in, synthesize it, enjoy the little stories within the big story, and share from your fullness the portions that are apt for the person in their circumstances in life. God‘s word has penetrated every cell, fuels every breath, and motivates thanksgiving to God with every heartbeat. You give little thought to yourself while making much of him.

Singing Psalm 90 just might move you to weave singing the Psalms into your regularly scheduled activities to help you rank things right, count time wisely, and use your emotions as sharpened tools to embrace the Lord you adore and enhance your other relationships. O Lord, please help us bear our afflictions and to resist the urge to grumble when hard providences surface. Instead, help each generation to acknowledge your goodness and honor you moment-by-moment for your excellence in running your world!

“As many days as we have spent    Under affliction You have sent,For all the years we evil knew,    Now make us glad; our joy renew.Your work to all Your servants show;    Your glory let their children know.“ ~ Psalm 90:15–16

April 2, 2022 – February 16, 2024


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