When I was young, my family would visit my grandmother 750 miles away, and at night, she would sit with me on her lap and read from her Bible and tell stories of her life. She often said, “It wasn’t long ago I was your age.” I would look at her gray hair and wrinkles, in disbelief that she could think that. She was in her fifties. For me, a lifetime passed just waiting for Christmas.
Fast forward to my senior year in high school. I was driving home from a school activity, thinking about my future and what I might want to do in college. I had always wanted to take ballet, but my parents never would pay for lessons. Should I take ballet in college? Then it occurred to me: I was 17, too old to start a career in ballet. Already, the chance to seize some of life’s opportunities had passed.
In that sobering moment, I realized time gets spent whether or not we know how we want to spend it. As our time passes, opportunities come and go. But I know I get to spend eternity with God, who loves me so much He sent Jesus to die and rise again to make the way for me to dwell with Him forever. If we know Jesus, we have a confident hope that He will return to resurrect us from the dead so we can live with Him forever in restored creation. Because of that hope, we can participate in God’s kingdom here and now with joy instead of fear.
After I realized how quickly time passes, I began thinking about how to best use the skills and interests God gave me to further His work and make the most of my time. The work God is doing is wonderful, and it’s a blessing to get to be part of it. We don’t know how long this life will be or when Jesus will return, but we do know that God is at work in every moment of our lives, and He invites and equips us to participate in that good work. • Ronica Stromberg
• It can be disappointing to miss out on opportunities. But God is with us in these times, and our disappointments matter to Him. Have you been disappointed by a missed opportunity lately? Consider taking a moment to bring this to God in prayer.
• God has given all of us skills, talents, and abilities that we can use as we participate in His kingdom. What skills, talents, and abilities has He given you? If you’re not sure, who is a trusted Christian who could help you find out—such as a pastor, parent, youth leader, or counselor?
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NIV)