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One of Those Days

From Psalm 139

What are the gifts you remember?


From this past Christmas, the gift I remember most is a photo book given to me by my brother. We went on a trip together last August—it was the first time we’d hung out, walking and talking like we used to (on the good days), in about ten years. The book was a collection of pictures from our two-week adventure, along with quotes and memories he’d scattered throughout. When I read it, I cried—the thought he put into every page, the words he picked to capture our relationship (is this really my big brother?), meant more to me than a gift of more monetary worth.


You have gifts like this too. Gifts you remember, gifts with great value, not because they cost someone money, but because they cost someone time, effort, thought, and heart.

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16). As many times as I’ve heard or read bits of Psalm 139, I don’t know that I’ve ever spent time on this verse.

God formed your days (v. 16). Just as He put tremendous time, effort, thought, and heart into forming you (vv. 13-14)—your “inward parts“ and outward characteristics, your desires and talents, your goals and dreams—He put thought into every single day of your life, forming them even “when as yet there was none of them.”


Psalm 90:12 pleads, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” And I relate to the plea—watching Olivia’s closing ceremony for preschool last week reminded me how quickly her childhood is passing and how little of it I want to miss. But what can we do? Maybe Psalm 139 gives us a clue: we will miss less of life, and fewer days will slip by unnoticed, when we give thought to how each day—to how this day—is a gift.


He formed it long ago.


He chose when the sun would rise—the precise time and the exact number of clouds He would place in the sky.


He chose the weather, how much wind or heat or rain or shade He would allow.


He chose a place, a home, where this day you could hold your child and hear her laughter or kiss your spouse and see his smile.


He chose a work for you to take part in—whether teaching a child of His love, lending a hand (or an ear) to a friend, or providing a meal for your household (and maybe another’s too).


He chose words for you to read, or hear through a friend, or feel in your heart that would lift your spirit.


He chose a song to come on the radio just for you.


He chose a day—this day—for you to have the resources to prepare a meal, the strength to take a walk, the ability to see or hear or perhaps both, and the chance to stop, be still, and soak up the final moments of this day’s sun.


He formed today long ago, with great tenderness, care, effort, and heart. Let His thoughtfulness sink in, and let today—His gift to you—be one of those days you remember.


Hopefully yours,




Next week’s reading: Psalm 140–146


My brother and me on our trip. This was one of my favorite days because of the time we spent in that park, just talking on a bench.


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