Teach Us to Count Our Days

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Psalm 90:1-12

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (v. 12)

North American Christians should not be anxious about getting Alzheimer’s disease or
other old age infirmities. Our money and medical advances enable us to reasonably expect
the seventy years spoken of in Psalm 90, and even the eighty too! This is a blessing many
others in our world do not have, and we should be thankful.

Long life does have a down side though. There is the possibility of losing one’s mind
or becoming physically incapacitated. But the alternative – a short life – is
not an appealing option either! Nor is it very helpful to try to be philosophical and just
“look on the bright side” or “make the best of things.”

The way to handle the negative aspects of aging is to follow the Psalmist, asking the
Lord to “teach us to count our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” He says wisdom is
(1) remembering we won’t live forever; (2) putting God’s ways first every day; (3) always
being satisfied with his love. Those who live this way can handle whatever life brings,
including end-of-life struggles. Alzheimer’s is particularly difficult, as some know from
bitter experience, but even that enemy can’t overcome a wise heart. A long life, even with
trouble, should mean growing in wisdom, not worry and fear.


May I be grateful, Lord, for every day, and live wisely all my life. Amen.