(A Puritan Prayer taken from The Valley of Vision)
THOU GREAT I AM,
Fill my mind with elevation and grandeur at
the thought of a Being
with whom one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day,
A mighty God, who, amidst the lapse of worlds,
and the revolutions of empires,
feels no variableness,
but is glorious in immortality.
May I rejoice that, while men die, the Lord lives;
that, while all creatures are broken reeds,
he is the Rock of Ages, the Fountain
of living waters.
Turn my heart from vanity,
from uncertainties of the present state,
to an eternal interest in Christ.
Let me remember that life is short and
and is only an opportunity for usefulness;
Give me a holy avarice to redeem the time,
to awake at every call to charity and piety,
so that I may feed the hungry,
clothe the naked,
instruct the ignorant,
reclaim the vicious,
forgive the offender,
diffuse the gospel,
show neighbourly love to all.
Let me live a life of self-distrust,
dependence on thyself,
These recent days have been a whirr of emotions and will continue to be in the days to come. So many times I have used Psalm 139:16 as part of birthday prayers..."Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." Of late, this verse carries the end of its meaning...not only the days of birth ("unformed substance"), but also of death (He knows every one of our days, even our day of death ~ "in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me".) Even my own blog title, which is derived from Ecclesiastes speaks of this in verse two...
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die..." Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a
John Piper's devotional titled, Life as a Vapor, emphasizes that life is but a vapor. Every moment we have breath we should focus on our purpose for existance...to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. With the sudden (to my finite mind and understanding of time) recent events in our family, it has caused me great contimplation of how short life truly is and how quickly it could end - the blink of an eye. Just over a week ago, I found out my mother is very sick and her days are short, outside of a miracle of God. I do not know what tomorrow holds ~ my Lord does. My prayers for her have been salvation, comfort and His peace. No man knows another's heart ~ only the Lord.