I wonder how many times have I read Psalm 39 in the past 57 years? Today it jumped off the page at me:
(Psalms 39:4–5) “O 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! Selah
The last time I was reading through the Psalms I had no idea that I had a terminal illness already at work in my body. I could read these verses with a sort of detachment. I knew that life was fleeting and unpredictable. I knew that my death was out there somewhere in the future and that there was some disease or accident that would bring it to me. But back then my knowledge of these things was unfocused, general, impersonal, and vague.
Nowadays the perspective of these verses is constantly with me. The Psalmist's prayer has been answered for me. The mission is accomplished! Day by day I can't seem to avoiding thinking about "my end and the measure of my days." I have a very acute sense of how fleeting I am!
But I don't want to go over the edge here. I want to benefit from this new perspective, not be smothered by it. I'm not dead yet and there are important things to be done before I go.
Nothing has really changed. The measure of my days was the same before my diagnosis as it is now. My days are in God's hands. He is the one who determines how long I will live on this earth. God might let me live longer than the average myelofibrosis patient. He might allow the development of a new treatment in time to rescue me. God might also take me to heaven some other way before my disease progresses at all.
My life is in God's hands. It has always been in God's hands. Nothing has changed. Same God - same hands - same plan he has for me.
This is just where I want to be!