September 18, 2022
Looking back, there was one good thing about my time in the hospital: My days had structure.
There were physical therapy sessions and vocational rehab, occupational therapy and lab appointments. But on the farm, the hours drifted by without real aim or purpose.
Occasionally, I would fall back into depressed feelings. My friend Steve saw this on one of his visits and gave me a simple but powerful Bible verse that guided me through the toughest days ahead:
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
We’ve all heard the adage that God looks at the last 2,000 years as a couple of days gone by, but what about viewing each day as a thousand years?
If we saw each day as comparable to a millennium in eternity, we’d understand that each twenty-four hours is chock-full of opportunities to invest in a thousand years’ worth of eternity.
Each day God gives us the precious gift of hours to invest in the lives of others—investments that will have eternal repercussions for us and for them.
I perked up when Steve shared this idea. “Yes,” I said, “but I’m still here. I can’t do all the things I used to do.
How can my life count in this condition?” Shooting up a quick prayer for wisdom, Steve told me, “First, friend, you can pray. No matter how feeble or fainthearted your prayers may seem, they have very special power with God.
Now is your chance to stretch your soul’s capacity for God. Your patience and endurance will resound more to God’s glory than you can possibly imagine right now.”
“But sometimes I still feel like giving up,” I sighed.
Steve said, “Jesus even thought of others when he was on his deathbed—the cross. We are always called to think of others, no matter how difficult our circumstances.
You can make your days count by focusing on your family, thanking and encouraging them and finding ways to bless them. Who knows how many years of eternal benefit—hundreds? thousands?—it will pan out to you, your family, and the glory of God?”
The next day I got started. I remembered to thank my sister for getting me into my wheelchair that morning. I wrote a note of encouragement to a sick relative. I decided to memorize a Scripture once a week.
I called a friend and prayed with her on the phone. I invited Steve and his friends to start a Bible study at our farmhouse. And I made sure to give my family a smile instead of a frown.
After a month and a half or so, I was able to look on those forty-five days as forty-five thousand years’ worth of eternal blessing to others, benefit to me, and glory to God.
Those weeks became the most meaningful and important ones I had lived thus far in my life.
With 2 Peter 3:8 tucked in my belt, something changed, and in a big way. I was ready to wheel into a much brighter future.
God, the Creator of time, knows how to invest the days and hours of our lives with mighty significance.
In his wisdom and with his favor, your words and acts of compassion and faith today can have an impact far, far beyond twenty-four hours.
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
In other words, value your days—this day—and make the most of every opportunity to do good, because this is the wisdom God wants you to apply your twenty-four-hour slices of time. No wonder the Bible describes each day as like a thousand years—that’s how priceless they are!
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