Shelf Life

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

I woke up this morning and felt like I’d lasted longer than my shelf life. I’m tired, weary and it is the just the first month of a new year.

Maybe David felt that way when he wrote Psalm 103.

As for man, his days are like grass;

    he flourishes like a flower of the field;

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

    and its place knows it no more. (Psalm 103:14-16, ESV).

David wasn’t having a pity party, feeling back pain or needing his morning coffee. He was extolling the works of God and praising Him for His blessings within the blimp of time given him. His view, pointed like a pair of binoculars, magnified God’s specific gifts and then broadened focus to see past to the things that will endure into eternity.

  • Because God has no expiration date.
  • Because His design for us is to enjoy Him long past our shelf life.
  • Because the things that matter last into eternity.

Like half of the stuff in my fridge, another expiration date has come and gone. 2016 once new and fresh is discarded for the next new year, like the old ketchup bottle I threw into the trash.

My husband and I sat down to run like marathoners through our long picture of scheduled events for 2017. I’m already short of breath. It’s like tossing out over due items and shoving soon to expire things to the front of my shelf. And frankly, the emotional juice ain’t what it used to be. I’m spent with the calendar in front of me, and the race has just begun.

Time, like intangible wind, can’t be glued down. Ultimately it is God Who owns it and moves it as He designs toward His purposes, not mine. I look at the blocked out days and weeks, the scrawls of this’s and that’s, and I remind myself that God erases expiration dates of things that really matter. His Word is eternal. Souls live on eternally. God Himself is eternal.

I recalculate my own deadlines, pitiful non-importants in a vast sea of forever, and find a space of marvel and wonder. Expiration dates fade.

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,

    and his righteousness to children’s children,

to those who keep his covenant

    and remember to do his commandments.

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,

    and his kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:17-19, ESV).

The rest blows away like chaff in the wind.

My once new 2017 calendar looks like a mess. It’s marked, crossed out, re-written in reds, blacks and blues. I take a deep breath, and in the exhale I let go of the grip that’s knotted my stomach.

Because what I can’t see far outweighs what I can.

Because the things that last aren’t defined by weekdays or months, by calendars or activities, but by Sovereign Declaration.

“…the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting…” 

And that’s a very long time.

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