Wrinkly Hands and the Brevity of Life

August 21, 2013

It was child evaluation day in the three year old class where I was the lead teacher. The little ones were being tested on their ability to count to ten. I asked little Abby, who was sitting across the table from me, to count all her fingers, and then spread out my hands on the table and had her count my fingers. After successfully completing her counts, I congratulated her and added, “You have ten fingers just like I have!” to which she bluntly responded, “Yeah, but mine aren’t all wrinkly like yours are.”  I didn’t even notice how wrinkly mine were, until she pointed it out.

That incident with Abby was a vivid reminder of the brevity of life. What she didn’t know then, is that her smooth, plump, flawless hands would probably look a lot like mine some 45 years later. That’s the life cycle that we all experience. What does God’s Word say about that?

MOSES reminded us of how brief life is in Psalm 90:10-13, and prayed that God would “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

JOB, in his pain, expressed that his “days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good.” (Job 9:25)

JAMES expressed that our life is “a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14) To emphasize the uncertainty of the future, he instructed us to say “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” (4:15)

PETER assured that even though we are transient in this world, “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:24,25)

SOLOMON wrote of the brevity of our days and encouraged us to enjoy life, along with a solemn reminder: “Walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9)

Yes, smooth hands get wrinkly; we cycle through life. We wither as a flower and disappear as a vapor. Let’s seek God’s wisdom to enjoy the time He’s given us and to live each day in a way that honors Him, the Giver of Life!

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