So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. —Psalm 90:12

A mid-1800s writing desk, gifted to me from my Ralph’s grandma, sits in my bedroom, well-loved and well-used. Along with the desk came an antique Roycroft copper desk set that grandma’s husband purchased back in 1926 for her twenty-fifth birthday. The desk set includes a perpetual calendar that I never change due to its age and fragility, yet there it sits, a constant reminder of time. Time! Oh, how fragile it is, and, oh, how quickly it slips away.

We mark our years by birthdays, anniversaries, passings, and other significant events in our lives. When we look back over time, we find that so much has slipped through the pages of the years.

Moses, who wrote this Psalm, speaks of our timeless God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. But of us, Moses writes how short and fragile our lives and our days really are. They end like a sigh, and we are to number them. Moses closes the Psalm with: “Establish the works of our hands.”

What a wonderful request: “Lord, would You work through my hands today?” Wow! What if I started every day with that heart cry to God?

Truth be told, too often I wake up thinking about all the stuff I have to do that day and wondering how I’m going to fit it all in. I admit I’m not a morning person, so it’s often not until later on when … with kitty in tow, coffee in hand, sitting with my iPad, and Bible … I stop and say: “Lord, what would You have me do for You? Here’s my calendar, God. You fill it—and help me to be ok with how You fill it!” (He knows how I can be sometimes!)

“Teach us to number our days” doesn’t mean simply counting the physical number of days but that we’re to take stock of what we are doing with them. What are we doing that has eternal value and will stand the test of time? In other words, if our days were currency, how would we spend them and on what? Would they be spent on the temporal or the eternal? The answer all depends on who is filling in the pages of our datebook—are we or is God?

When we submit our datebook to Him, God will use us in grand ways … and in the ordinary, everyday, mundane activities that we might think are meaningless, repetitious, and of little impact. He can use us as a great motivational Bible teacher and speaker or simply as a refreshment for that weary, overworked, stressed-out cashier who is just trying to make ends meet. He can use us as a prolific author of Christian books or with a single little note of encouragement slipped into the Bible of a weary and discouraged friend. We can be moved to feed a remote village, or we can be moved to take a meal to someone who has simply had one of those days. We can be a world-renowned artist, or we can quietly minister through a beautifully hand-spun and crafted shawl, interwoven with much prayer. Our voice can reach millions, or it can be used to quietly sing “Jesus Loves Me” to a little grandson at bedtime or at the bedside of a dying brother or mom. We can, out of our abundance, fund a great cause or, through our meager, hard-earned dollars, buy baby formula and diapers for a struggling new mama. God can cram our datebook full of things to do, places to be, and people to see, or He can fill it with days at home in quiet prayer for those in need.

Elbert Hubbard, the founder of Roycroft artisan shops, where my desk set was made and purchased, was a very accomplished man from a worldly standpoint—but he is no more. One day my desk will decay and the desk set will be in a trash heap somewhere. They will be no more.

Moses numbered his days and made them count for God. His life and his God-inspired words are prominently displayed in the pages of God’s Word that will not pass away.

As we enter this new year and yield our days to Him for His use, we can be confident that God will use the big and the small, the great and the least, the renowned and the obscure all together for His eternal purposes. In His hands, both the marvelous days and the mundane days of our earthly lives will be far-reaching and timeless.

Father, thank You for the days of my life. Help me to always take stock of them and not waste any of them. Let my year be marked by the things of You rather than of myself. My datebook is Yours, fill it as You deem best. Use me to make an eternal difference in someone else’s life today, I pray. I love You, Lord!

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

—Frances Ridley Havergal

Safe in His care,
Donna Perkins




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Margaret Fowler
    January 16, 2023 6:11 pm

    Thanks for a very meaningful message. Truly may we use our days in ways that honor our Lord. Love that hymn,
    and I can’t just read a hymn, I sang it in my heart. God bless you for your thoughtful words today.

  • Donna Perkins
    January 16, 2023 8:50 pm

    Thank you so much!

  • Thank you, Donna! Your words always resonate with me in such a personal way. May God continue to use you as a source of wisdom and encouragement!

  • Donna Perkins
    January 28, 2023 1:04 am

    I love you so much! What a treasured friend you are!


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