From: Jalaine Polk
Oh Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Psalm 39.4-5
As I meditated on Psalm 39, similar thoughts surfaced that I experience when I read Ecclesiastes. "All is vanity." Or a mist, vapor, mere breath. This reminder that "surely all mankind is a mere breath" (Psalm 39.5) is often comforting to me -- yet sometimes alarming or convicting -- and I hope it to be motivating.
It's comforting because it's a reminder that the small or large ways in which I find myself in pain, despair, or turmoil are fleeting. They are a mere breath! The Lord is so much more than my earthly life; I'm a tiny raisin in comparison to the Lord's infinite goodness. If I can walk through the breadth of sorrow and find courage to hope in the Lord, all will be well.
It can be an alarming and convicting reminder because it reveals to me the ways in which I so easily let the frustrations/distractions/bumps of life tear me away from the Lord as well as how strongly I cling to people/places/moments on this earth. I have little time in this world; may I draw near to God when the bumps arise, and may I trust in God when the fear of loss in this world arises.
The Psalm can also be motivating. It gives me a sense of urgency. How am I living each moment with hope in the Lord? How am I sharing that with others? What is God calling me into each day? I so often miss his voice because my own anxiety or negativity or laziness or stubborn heart turns away. I must pay attention to each moment, because it's gone so swiftly.
Lord, when I fail to hope in You, remind me that You have given me the gift of this precious life and that hope in You is essential to each breath.
"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you." Psalm 39.7
I have strong Kentucky roots paired with a deep love for New England. I live in a home in Dorchester with rad housemates (come visit us!) and work at a community health center with people experiencing homelessness.