by Steve Laube
This past week was my mom’s 91st birthday. When we talked she spoke about the possibility of doing a Bible study with other members of her retirement community. She is making every day count.
This coming week marks one year since the death of my father. Many of you have experienced similar loss. It is a reminder that our time on earth is finite.
Below is a great video that creates a visual reminder of the “number of our days.” (Psalm 90:12) Watch the video now and then rejoin my thoughts after the jump.
The jellybean makes for a rich metaphor. When you eat them do you separate them first by color, discard the ones you don’t like, and save the favorites for last? But, to carry with the metaphor, in life you can’t grab a handful, you only get one, and you cannot pick only your favorite. You have only that single jellybean each day.
The impulse is to interpret this to mean you should do something productive now. While that may be the outcome it would be wiser to look at each day as an opportunity to rest in God… to be. It is in this place, in the bosom of the Lord, that clarity is renewed and purpose restored. You might even savor today’s jellybean a little bit more.
Oh, how I love the way you ended that. I was worried I’d have to add things to my ToDo list after reading it, but I think we too often run around completing the tasks on our lists and forget the one thing that is most important. I call it Being With. Being With family, Being With friends and most of all Being With the Lord. Such peace in the thought.
I also wanted to share my aunt’s story. She was taken to the nursing home, as they tell me, kicking and screaming. She didn’t want to languish in her remaining time. But when she got there she started a Bible study and led a few seniors to the Lord. Her purpose continued on until He took her home.
When we stand before God, and He counts our beans, how many will be in the “God” pile? Resting in Him, loving Him, trusting Him, relying on Him to “do” everything else. That’s the pile that really matters.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
Loved this, Steve. Thank you.
Thanks for a great analogy and the reminder that each day is important. At age 77, I’ve spent the majority of “jelly beans” and yes, there are a few things I would have done differently or not done, but each new day is a gift to be opened and cherished no matter what it holds. None of us know how many days we have left, but the number doesn’t matter. Each day is the day the Lord has made for me, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.
What a great post, Steve. I find it so easy to get caught up in the “need to do’s” that I forget to rest in the Lord, and just be. I tend to be busy about many things, sometimes as the expense of those I love the most—my husband and boys. Lately, I’ve been working to “be in the now” with my family because relationships are the most important priority as far as what I devote my time to. When I rest in the Lord, I find it easier to keep things in their right priority.
Great post. Sorry about your loss of your dad but glad to hear your mother is still active and enjoying fellowship with the Lord and with others.
I was sorry to see so many beans in the “TV” pile and no beans in the “reading books” pile. My “TV” days would be replaced with “surfing the net” days.
I also thought it would have been good to see the “TV” pile standing next to the “helping others” pile and the “Going to church, praying, reading your Bible” pile.
I love your thoughts at the end.
I have a sign in my room that I see when I wake that says, “This is the day that the Lord has made!” When I think of that, it’s hard not to rejoice and be glad.
Lancia E. Smith
Thank you, Steve, for this post – beautiful and perfectly timed. How true it is that our fullness of life comes as we rest in the Lord, not necessarily produce more. The best production comes from those who are rested and that is true whether it is cropland or people.
Steve, marvelous post! What a great reminder as we start a new week. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as my children are very young and sometimes I am so overwhelmed with just caring for them and the house–and doing everything else that is required of me– I forget to just sit back, and enjoy them while they are little, and cute and still like me! (I hear that can change when they hit 14… *Lol*) Every day is a blessing from God, and everyday I am alive, I want to do my best to honor Him and be joyful, because like another commenter said, “this is the day the Lord hath made.”
In my devotional time this morning, I read through Psalm 46. Be still? On a Monday morning? With ACFW this week? I’ll just tuck that verse away for later. But no. Of all the times we need to be still, it probably ought to be a Monday morning, to become centered and seek the Lord’s will for the week. Thanks for a great post.
Rebecca Barlow Jordan
Love this post, Steve. Truly, every day should be lived to the full–with joy and thanksgiving. Great reminder.
Thanks, Steve, for a thought-provoking post and the link to that great YouTube. So often our days go by in a blur and we never register their value.
Lately I’ve thought a lot about how easy it is to focus on doing and forget what counts more is being present in the moment I’m living. I didn’t need a reminder, but the jelly bean artistry provides images that shout, “Pay attention!”
Great post. Resting in Him is something we think of last when life sends us circumstances beyond our control. I have a placard on my refrigerator that says,
“Good Morning, this is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I will NOT need your help.
So, have a nice day.”
It’s a daily reminder to me that God planned this day for me and whatever comes is meant to teach, edify, or grow my faith. He is in control.
Pat, I have the same thing on my refrigerator. It’s a great reminder for me cast my cares on Him and not try to reel them back in or take control myself.
Reading Watchman Nee this morning. This quote is from his book “Sit, Walk, Stand”. “Our deliverance from sin is based, not on what we can do, nor even on what God is going to do for us, but on what He has already done for us in Christ. When that fact dawns upon us and we rest back upon it, then we have found the secret of a holy life.”
Wow. I love the way you ended that post. It doesn’t matter what we’re “doing” if we’re doing it independently from God. It is He who fashions our days for us. I pray I’m able to keep that in mind when I start getting caught up in “my” agenda. My days belong to Him. And the really cool thing about that is, once our “days” here on earth are over, we still have infinite days to spend with Jesus Christ!
What a sweet (pun intended!) reminder … thank you. 🙂 Blessings on you, your mother, and the rest of the family as you face the anniversary of your father’s passing!
I know one man who had three of his friends blown up by a mine right in front of him, in the Vietnam war. He himself lost the use of one arm. He is now a teacher at a school overseas.
Every time someone asks him how he is he replies:
“Great. For me every day is great, because it is one day more than I might have had.”
Thanks for this reminder.