Millions of us were profoundly saddened and stunned by the heartbreaking news of Kobe Bryant’s death on January 26. The world-famous NBA star was only 41 years old when he and eight others passed away in a tragic helicopter accident in California.
It’s always impossible to know what to say, or even what to think, when tragedies like this occur. The loss always feels too surreal, too unthinkable, too soon.
The agony of grief is undeniably difficult — and real.
Although it sometimes seems like small consolation, we can, during difficult times, cling to the hope that God is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). That He not only knows about suffering but, through Christ, knows suffering firsthand. That He is a God who is not unfamiliar with grief but enters into our sorrows and weeps alongside us (John 11:32-35).
During difficult times, we cling to the hope that God not only knows about suffering but, through Christ, knows suffering firsthand
It’s important to remember that even the noblest Bible characters were stricken by close experiences with death and grief. Take Moses, for example. Three thousand years ago, during the 40 years in the wilderness, as entire generations of Israelites perished around him, he experienced hardship, suffering, and loss every single day.
But it was precisely during this extraordinarily trying time that Moses composed one of the most beautiful prayers in the entire Bible: Psalm 90. Have you read it? Did you know Moses was the author?
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:1-2
Throughout this profound psalm — the only one in the Bible attributed to Moses — you can easily sense the raw earnestness of his words and the reality of his grief:
Of the entire psalm, however, the one line that has always stuck with me, the one statement that I wish more of us kept tucked away in the back of our minds, is verse 12: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
What a profound statement!
Brothers and sisters, our days here on earth are finite. Yes, we have a wonderful eternity with Christ awaiting us, but it’s so crucial to view each day God gives us on earth as a precious gift — one that cannot be repeated.
Just think: in the grand scheme of things, our days here are not long at all. They are fleeting (Psalm 39:4), like a mist (James 4:14), like a flower (Psalm 103:15), like a mere breath (Psalm 39:5). Do we recognise that?
Today, even in the midst of sorrow and loss, even as we’re tormented by hard questions and “Why, God?” moments, may we recognise the brevity of this life, the importance of numbering our days, and yes, the unfailing goodness of the Lord — no matter what we’re going through.
Lord, suffering strikes so close to home. Loved ones I know are hurting, doubting. People I know and respect are dying. There’s so much hurt and confusion in the world. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But You’ve always been faithful, Father. I trust that You see and hear me, just like You heard Moses. I know You always do what is just and right — even when it doesn’t feel like it. Help me, Lord, to number my days. To trust You more. To be faithful with what You’ve given today.
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