In my Bible reading today I read Psalm 39. This particular passage caught my eye in verses 4-5:
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”
I remember reading this passage before, and it always hits home for me. I used to blog under the name “Waiting to Go Home.” I’ve always looked forward to what lies in eternity with Christ. Today I happened to look at the context of these verses and was a little surprised by what I found.
Verses 4 and 5 are prefaced by David complaining. He says, “I said to myself, ‘I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.’…The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words.”
!! He was mad and wanted to speak out against the people around him. Then he says, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.” I think it’s a little bit funny how that sounds especially put in casual language–sounds something like, “God, these people are really making me mad…please remind me that I don’t have to put up with this very long.”
On a serious note, this psalm struck me as a reminder to myself not to let this world overwhelm me, because “it is but a breath.”