He Knows Our Frame
Pslam 103:14-16

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Numbering our Days

Numbering our Days

Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

I am breaking my blog silence after a long, long time (almost 2 years).  While I have written on Joli’s blog here and there, I haven’t written on this one since Jan 2010.  There has been a burden growing in my heart and in my soul for a few days and I really need to let out a couple of years worth of writing J Just kidding, not that much writing.  But I do need to put down in words what has been on my heart and talk about things that I have been silent on since Jan of 2010. 

The verse above really says it all about what is swirling through my heart and in my head.  Death has been an ever present agent in our family over the last several years and our homes and our hearts will be permanently altered as a result.  Death had not really ever been something that I had had to face too often before a few years ago.  Sure I had a grandfather die in 1981 and 2001, and Joli’s grandfather died in 1995 so there had been slight and somewhat distant experiences with it.  But nothing as close as the last few years have been. 

In the spring of 2009, my dear Grandmother Mildred finally succumbed to cancer and died at the age of 77.  She was dear to me and I had had the opportunity to spend the weekend before with her.  She seemed tough and got out of bed and ate with me and drank coffee (one of her favorite things to do).  Just 2 days after I left, she died.  I was in Greensboro, NC at the time and couldn’t get back to be with her.  I was sad but at the same time, joyful, because she loved the Lord and was going to be at home with Him in a new body.  Death was not sorrowful in this instant, it was actually a welcome friend to send a sister in Christ and a suffering Grandma home.  Thus, there was no reflection in my life.  No moment of crises that should cause reflection. 
My uncle Win 2nd on the left and my Aunt Sara to his left.  My dad is 2nd from right

September 2009 came and another death occurred in our family as my dad’s brother Winford was suffering from several ailments, most notably, kidney failure and he passed away after several weeks of care in the hospital.  One of the great blessings in this instant was the fact that he prayed to receive Christ just the week before he died.  My grandmother was so happy that her son who had long rejected our Savior, embraced him before a final and sure judgment.   Again, this caused no real reflection in my life and frankly, life went on as usual.  

Donna, Lee, Dad and Me two months before Lee's death

Then it happened, a day that I will never forget and one that I have to stop for a minute to write about.  May 30, 2010, my dad called me.  I was in Pinehurst at my sister-in-law’s house getting ready for church.  I missed his call and so when he didn’t leave a message, I called him back knowing that it was very odd for him to call me on a Sunday morning.  He answered sobbing, uncontrollably, “ Lee is dead.  He has killed himself!  Lee’s dead.”  My brother, my only brother had in a moment of despair, taken his own life.  I called my mom right away, honestly not believing what I had heard from my dad, and I will never, ever forget the sound of her wailing in grief over my brother.  It was true, he was dead.   Why?  What could I have done? What could I have said? Could I have been a better brother?  All of these instant questions still ring in my head today for I loved him dearly and miss him greatly.  But upon reflection, I didn’t love him enough.  You see, I shared with him his need for Christ several times and the hope that could only be found in Him.  But I hadn’t done so in a long time; basically had given up.  He had gone to sit in the hospital with my Grandmother Ruby a few months before when she had been sick and she had shared with him then.   He joked to me about it that “Grandma tried to get me saved 3 times.”  I only said to him that he should have listened and then blew it off, not pressing the issue.  Oh how I wish that I could have 1 hour with him again, just one hour to tell him how much I love him and am sorry for so much of the way that I treated him growing up.  How I wish I could tell him of the hope that we have in Christ just once more and that life only begins when we are found in Him.  My brother was extremely handsome, made a tremendous amount of money yet was empty on the inside and full of despair.  How many believers crossed his path everyday and actually shared with him Christ’s love and hope?  We often take for granted the fact that someone’s outward circumstances do not reflect their inward reality.  My brother was one of those people.  Needless to say this caused enormous reflection and heartache in my life and in my heart, as it still does to this day .  

My brother with my sweet niece.  Oh how I miss him

Jonathon Edwards wrote in one of his 70 Resolutions,

17.Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

In other words, let me live my life every day in a way that when I come to die, I can look back on my life and have no regrets.  There will be much regret over many things in my life when I come to die, especially regarding my brother and it makes the psalmists words even more prescient in my life when he says

Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Grandma Ruby at her 90th Birthday Party

Barely six months after my brother died, my dear Grandmother Ruby died.  She was 93 years old and really was in good health when she suddenly got weak and started having esophagus problems and couldn’t keep things from coming back into her lungs.  She was in the hospital for a while and then she died on November 23,2010,  just a few days before Thanksgiving.  She had seen a lot of death in her life.  She had lost two sons, two grandchildren, a husband of almost 65 years and many siblings.  She always had her hope and faith in Christ and even through all of the death and turmoil she had a strong faith.  

James 1:2-4 says “Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

She met many trials and was steadfast in her faith.  Now she is perfect and complete with our Savior.

Finally, as far as death goes, my Aunt Sara Jordan, my dad’s sister is clinging to life as I write.  I spoke with her on the phone the Monday night after Christmas for about 10 minutes and she was in good spirits and sounded fine.  One hour later, she was rushed to the hospital where her heart stopped for almost 6 minutes.  After continuous CPR for that time, her heart began to beat again, but the lack of oxygen to her brain may have taken too much of a toll for a 72 year old to bear.  She has been in a coma since 9:30 that Monday night and the longer she stays unconscious, the less likely that she will awaken.  Has this yet awakened me?  One minute fine, the next possibly death.  We know that this is the reality of our lives but we live as if we are superhuman and ignore that the wages of sin is DEATH (Romans 6:23).  It is coming to all of us, whether it be slow or sudden it is as sure to come as the sun is to rise in the morning and set in the evening.  

So why is it that we would not dare allow a house to burn with people inside without trying to help them out, but we don’t have an urgency to share with our neighbors, coworkers, loved ones, of the wrath to come and the fires and wrath of hell?  We (I) live like practical atheists.  We are effectual hearers but cowardly doers.  We have digested the lie that we are to effect people by our lives, hoping that our good actions and deeds will persuade them to look at our church or even our God.  We fail to note two things; first, there are many good and moral atheists who do many good things in the mindset of helping humanity and the environment.  Secondly, the bible does not agree with this watch only life style as it says clearly in Romans 10:13-15, “ For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?”   It clearly does not exhort us to “live” only, but to preach the good news of Christ.  It is the hearing of the word that changes lives and hearts in conjunction with His Spirit. 

Why is it then that we(I) Christians, can so easily talk football, news, politics, etc. so passionately with ANYONE, but we do not DARE give them the BEST news of Christ Jesus?  Normally, these other things, called idols, are the true gods in our lives.  This is what tears at me the most.  I can easily carry on a conversation about many things with most people but it is rarely ever about Christ.  WHY?  Because the Lamb who was slain is not loved by me with all of my heart.  Tim Tebow recently said that he talked about Jesus all the time for the same reason that a new groom talks about his bride because of the immense love that he has for her.  Ouch!  We should have that same love for Him who died to take away our sins.   We need to tell others that the despair that many of them feel, or the emptiness, or the loneliness, or the absolute blackness of a life filled with sin can be exchanged for a freedom that is miraculous, freeing and eternal.  This change comes when lives are surrender to a Savior who paid that penalty for the wages of sin.  You see, while we were yet in our sin Christ died for US!  That is GREAT News!  Well worth sharing. 

Charles Spurgeon, the great English Baptist preacher of the 19th century said,
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” 


Yes!  That is it!  That is what has been such a burden to me in my life.  I think of my brother and how little I shared Christ with him or so many others in my life every day.  We MUST  wrap our arms about their knees and share with them the “Life, Life, Eternal Life” that is found in Christ. 

Christian:  Our mandate from Christ himself was to go and make disciples!  That was a mandate and not a suggestion. 

Pastors:  It was said that the greatness of Spurgeon was found that in whatever his topic was that he preached on, that he always pointed his message back to the gospel and the necessity of the hearers to fall upon Christ.  How much of that preaching is done today in our pulpit?  Preach the gospel!  Please preach the gospel!  You never know when someone in the church may die any day.

Finally, I don’t know who if anyone will actually slog through this whole post but if you do and you know that you are not a follower of Christ then please finish reading.  We all have sin in our lives, everyone, there is no one perfect.  God does not judge on a curve and hell is not reserved for bad people, besides, most people think they are good.  The bible says we are not to have other gods before Jehovah, but are there things in your life that are much more important than him.  We are told not to lie; how many have you told in all of your life?  We are told not to steal and yet have you ever stolen the smallest thing, maybe even copied a CD from someone else that you didn’t pay for.  The music industry and the law considers that stealing.  Have you ever committed adultery?  Jesus said that if you look at someone and lust after them that you have committed adultery in you heart.  All of these things point to a sin filled life and even breaking one of these makes you guilty of the whole law.  So the punishment or the payment for that is death.  Not just physical death but a spiritual death and judgment for eternity in the lake of fire, hell.  The good news comes in here, God sent his Son, down here to live as a man on this earth.  He was born, he lived a sinless life, and he was tortured on a Roman cross to pay for our sins.  It says in Hebrews that without the shedding of blood there can be no cancellation of sins.  Well, God sent his Son and bruised Him and Crushed Him so that through faith in Him we could be reconciled back to God himself.  That’s right, it pleased God to crush him to pay for that lie, that adulterous look that should send us to hell.  This is GREAT News that needs to be shared!  So what if it doesn’t win any popularity contests with the world, we are not standing next to them in front of God one day, we will give an answer to all that we did here on earth alone.  He doesn’t care what anyone else says, he has given us what he thinks in his word.  We change our opinions but Isaiah 40 says that His word stands forever.  It is unchangeable! 

Please, if you don’t know Christ, call out to Him and ask him to change your heart and your life!  Believe in his ability and willingness to do that!  And Christian, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”  2 Cor 13:5. 

Thanks for listening!

Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.


  1. Thank you so much for the challenge, Hardwick Family! I hope that the Lord has remained your sustainer this whole time after all these losses in your family. I pray that tonight He will give you joy in the idea that this post has encouraged a brother in the Lord.

    "Charles Spurgeon, the great English Baptist preacher of the 19th century said,
    'If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.'"