So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. —Psalm 90:12

It’s hard to explain someone’s life being cut short, dying at a relatively young age. We expect that person to live a much longer life. But who is to say that it wasn't his or her appointed time to go? Who is to say that it wasn't the exact length of life that God had preordained for that man or woman from the very beginning? In the Book of Acts, the apostle Paul says of King David: “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers” (Acts 13:36 NIV). David, great a man as he may have been, served his purpose in his own generation, and then was taken off the scene.

This is why we want to make every day count. To paraphrase the words of Moses in Psalm 90:12, “Lord, help us to realize our lives can end on any day. Please show me how to use each day wisely.” We don’t know when our day will come. We don’t know when we will have “served our purpose to our own generation.” When God calls you home, you’re going home, and that’s that. You can live on vitamin C, zinc, and Echinacea. You can drink green tea, eat tofu, and avoid all the toxins you can, but when your number is up, your number is up.

On the other hand, you will be around until God is done with you; you won’t go before your time. You may or may not be the healthiest person, but you will live to the time that God has appointed for you, and worrying about it won’t extend your life for one moment.

At the same time, however, we are not to take foolish risks and “put the Lord to the test.” We can be assured that we are here until God is done with us. As the apostle Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 NKJV). So let’s make the most of the lives God has given us. Missionary Jim Elliot once wrote: “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”