If This Were Your Last Day

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. Psalm 39:4

To each one fortunate enough to live out 1959, God will have given 365 days broken into 8,760 hours. Of these hours, 2,920 will have been spent in sleep, and about the same number at work. An equal number has been given us to spend in reverent preparation for the moment when days and years shall cease and time shall be no more. What prayer could be more spiritually appropriate than that of Moses, the man of God: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

It is important that we remember that all our days come to us out of the sheer mercy of God, unearned, undeserved and, I fear, mostly unappreciated. By sin our lives stand under forfeit; God owes us nothing. The bell that tolls the death of the passing year might as justly toll for us. Only by God’s infinite goodness are we yet alive to see each other’s face. Each year is a gift of grace and each day an unearned bonus.

I think it is typical of us that we take our days for granted. We say at the start of each year, “This may be the last,” and resolve to amend our lives; but before many days have passed we forget our resolutions and grow bold and arrogant again, deceived by the apparent prodigality with which our days are given to us, heaped up, shaken together and running over. But all things have an end. The pitcher goes once too often to the well; the old tree braves one too many storms and comes down with a great crash upon the hill; the strongest heart weakens at last and sputters to a stop.

by A.W. Tozer