Psalm 90:12, NIV
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
A new year has begun, a new beginning for many, like me, who have had an emotionally and physically rough 2014. This has initiated some resolutions I plan to make for a start to this first month January. It is so easy for some folks to say, “Get a move on. Get over it. Life is too short so enjoy each day while there is still life and light.” Well, is it that simple? As a plastic surgeon, I deal with physical scars everyday and I tell all my patients this age-old adage: One day at a time. Time is the best healer so I advise them to wait and the body’s healing mechanisms will enable the scars to mature. That’s the key word – mature. As the physical scars mature, one day at a time, they fade and become less noticeable but they do not disappear.
What about deep emotional scars caused by hurt and rejection? What about the arrows inflicted by the wages of sin that have pierced the soul and scarred the heart for life? Does 1st January 2015 mean they will go away because its a new year and nobody can see them compared to physical scars? How do these deep emotional scars mature? How can we make resolutions to make things right and start walking on level ground again and not fall and be ensnared by the patterns of the world – the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:16)?
The prophet Jeremiah points us in the right direction when we hear the cries of his own heart recorded nearly two thousand six hundred odd years ago: Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved, for You are the one I praise. (Jeremiah 17:14) Scars of the heart mature through the healing that comes from the sovereign grace of God. The source of that healing is wisdom from God that comes to us through His word and power of the Holy Spirit to heal the wounds of the heart. The wounds inflicted on Jesus of Nazareth at Calvary for my iniquities brings rest and healing to my soul.
But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Just as we number the days for physical scars to mature, so too the prayer of the man of God, Moses, calls out to the Spirit of the living God to teach us to number our days in this life with gratitude and thanksgiving. We apply our hearts to gain wisdom so we may mature in the grace of God to heal our wounds, act justly, walk humbly and love mercy.
Yes, love mercy. That would be a good and safe place to start the year. When we love the mercies of a compassionate God to forgive, the outflow of a grateful heart is praise. I want to start there this year because the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. As I gathered my family and prayed over dinner on New Year’s day, I confessed these words in prayer before them and the Lord, “I know I am weak and I am a sinner. I ask God to give me the grace to take one day at a time so I can walk and not fall and I pray the Lord’s favor will rest upon all of us this year.” A blessed and fruitful new year in Christ to all. Amen!
Reflect: Deuteronomy 32:3-4 – The Song of Moses
3 For I proclaim the name of the Lord:
Ascribe greatness to our God.
4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.