Imagine you are driving down the freeway towards home. It is a wet day but the roads are good and the traffic is light; having driven the road a 1000 times, you feel safe. The expectation of returning into the arms of loved ones wells up in side you and you can begin to feel that welcoming cup of tea in your hands.
Suddenly, as you cross a bridge, the road beneath you collapses and you are no longer driving towards home but plummeting towards death. You will never be held by those arms again. You will never savour a cup of tea again. Your time on earth has quickly come to an end.
This was reality for dozens of Italian citizens this week on the Morandi Highway in Genoa. The bridge they were travelling on collapsed. While some are arguing it was expected, those driving along the road clearly did not expect to meet God in that moment.
But this is what life is like. One minute you have a fully functioning right shoulder, the next, not so much. One minute you are driving home, the next, you are meeting Jesus.
And this is why you need to ensure that you have your relationship with God right.
Psalm 90 confronts our mortality. It starts with a reminder that God is eternal and we are those who will return to the dust. It moves on to acknowledge that every breath we take is in the hands of God and that our years pass like a flash in the pan, often filled with sorrow and trouble. Coupled with this is the reality that our years are (ironically) characterised by secret sins that God knows completely and that his wrath will be poured out on all such sins. The picture if that of hopelessness.
And yet, the Psalmist turns that hopelessness on its head saying, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The call is to recognise every day as a divine gift and to turn to God, fearing him, and glorifying him, for in such things is wisdom. Wisdom is not found by sucking the marrow out of life or by seizing the day; wisdom is found by knowing the one who controls the days and life itself. By knowing God and knowing his favour.
The Psalm finishes with the assured hope that the favour of the Lord may rest upon us as we number our days.
Expect the unexpected: it’s a good motto for life. But in the midst of that life, cling to and trust in the mighty Saviour, Jesus. Then whatever happens, you’ll be safe and secure for eternity.