Psalm 39:4-7 – Show me, O Lord, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. (NIV)
Each day on the return trip from my client site, I read the same sign sitting on the side of the road. But yesterday as I passed that same sign, it had a little more meaning to it, though I am quite sure it was not the message the sign's owner had intended. The sign simply reads, "You've Just Missed It!" I have passed that sign literally dozens of times, and on many occasions have made jest to someone riding with me: "What was it, what did we miss?" "Oh well, maybe we will catch it next time." But as I passed this sign the other day I was reminded, perhaps even convicted, of a conversation I had recently had with some friends.
These friends had recently been on a glorious trip to the Holy Land with our pastor. The lady was telling us how she waited for so long during the trip for that special "God Moment" the pastor had told them they might have while in the Holy Land. But her "God Moment" came at what seemed to be an unlikely time. They were at the site of the birthplace of Jesus and were preparing to enter. The crowd had become terribly thick, with people even pushing to get through. It finally came their turn to enter, but due to the crowd they were pushed through so quickly they barely had a chance to see anything. My friend said that as she was complaining about the crowd, the tour guide explained to her that the night of Jesus' birth was probably just as crowded, with just as many people pushing and shoving around. Then came the statement that opened the eyes of our friends, and now of myself. The tour guide said, "With so many people, and everyone rushing around, it would have been easy to miss the birth of Jesus."
So what application does that have for us today? We were not there; we did not miss the birth.
As the psalmist says in Psalm 39, our lives are fleeting. The moments are passing us by quickly. We rush about every day trying to accomplish so many things, trying to advance our careers, trying to advance our education, trying to advance our social lives. We live such incredibly busy lives. But as the psalmist says, our bustling is in vain, and the wealth we attain may not even be our own. We get so busy in our lives that we most likely miss God every day. We say that we want to know and do God's will in our lives, yet we get so busy that we cannot hear God when He does speak. And perhaps for many, they are so busy they have missed God completely. They have missed His invitation to salvation.
The world is not going to slow down for us. And we cannot get more hours into the day. Our only hope is indeed in the Lord, and we must discipline ourselves to spend time with Him each day. Let us not be like me passing that sign each day. If you think you have missed God, stop or turn around and go back to meet Him. None of us will regret doing so.
Prayer: Dear God, we do not desire to miss even a moment with you. Help us, dear Lord, to take the time to slow down and be with you. Help us to keep our hope in you and not in the things of this world. Amen.