Will This Be a Good Day?
A PLEASANT “Good day” is perhaps the most common of greetings. But when you give or get such greeting, how much does the thought behind it mean to you? For most, it is of light importance. After all, what is one day when compared with a lifetime?
True, a life expectancy of seventy years (as enjoyed in some lands) gives promise of some 25,567 days in all. But to the person who is fifty years old the 18,262 days by then spent seem to have swept swiftly by, and the 7,305 remaining hoped-for days look few indeed. He may now begin to appreciate why the prophet Moses long ago prayed to God: “Show us just how to count our days in such a way that we may bring a heart of wisdom in.”—Ps. 90:12.
What did Moses mean? He certainly did not mean that God would reveal the exact number of days the lifetime of each Israelite would hold. To the contrary, the Bible frequently reminds us that we should not count on living a presumed period of time, but realize instead that “you do not know what your life will be tomorrow. For you are a mist appearing for a little while and then disappearing.” (Jas. 4:13-15) Jesus gave a parable of a rich and self-centered farmer who thought he had a good idea of the number of his days. He expanded his storehouses and then said to himself: “Soul, you have many good things laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, enjoy yourself.” But in reality for him there was not even a tomorrow, for God said to him: “Unreasonable one, this night they are demanding your soul from you. Who, then, is to have the things you stored up?”—Luke 12:19, 20
Actually, Moses’ own words in Psalm 90 show that he too recognized the brevity, the transitoriness, the uncertainty of human life. (See verses 9 and 10.) So his prayer evidently expressed the desire for God’s guidance to help Moses and his people wisely to value, estimate and appraise the ‘days of their years,’ using them, not in vanity, but so as to gain God’s favor.
What of us? How much does a day mean to us? Will we spend the “days of our years” as if we had a guaranteed supply of them with no danger of ever running out? When do we begin to “count” them—only when the normal supply is far diminished in old age? Or will we begin early to recognize the true value and preciousness of each day, ‘bringing in a heart of wisdom’ as Moses said, by seeking to spend each day in a worthwhile way?
What a Day Can Bring
When next you give or receive the greeting of a friendly “Good day,” why not stop for a moment and reflect on what a day can bring, how momentous and even life-shaping things have occurred in just one day. In one day Adam and Eve disobeyed their Creator, losing their home and eventually their lives. We still suffer from their misuse of that day. (Rom. 5:12) One evening King David looked covetously at the beautiful wife of another man as she bathed, and then proceeded to violate two more of God’s commandments. Though he repented, his life was seriously affected ever after.—2 Sam. 12:9-12.
The angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary of the tribe of Judah was warm and genuine: “Good day, highly favored one, Jehovah is with you.” That proved to be a very “good day” indeed for this virgin of Galilee, one she long treasured in memory. She responded humbly and reverently to the opportunity set before her. Nine months later she became the mother of the promised Messiah.—Luke 1:28-38.
In striking contrast, when Roman soldiers said to Christ Jesus, “Good day [literally, Be rejoicing], you King of the Jews!” it was in ridicule. They intended to make it as bad a day as possible for their victim. Despite their efforts, Jesus finished that day successfully, having maintained integrity to his heavenly Father. (Matt. 27:29) We owe our entire hope of everlasting life to what God’s Son did on that crucial day. He made it the finest day in human history.
This Day and You
What about today—will this be a good day for you? Each day has its opportunities, its responsibilities, its work. Most days bring certain issues, certain decisions to which we must face up. Some days are crucial—our hope of life in God’s favor may hang in the balance. But be sure of one thing—each day brings its own molding and shaping of your life.
What have you done with this day so far? Did you enjoy good relationships with others, showing love for God and for neighbors, yes, even for an enemy? Did you help someone, perhaps forgive someone? Did you pray more than once, as did Daniel? (Dan. 6:10) Did you solve some problem, or overcome some obstacle? Did you accomplish something worth while?
Or did you do some of the opposite things? Make a bad mistake? Have some bad thoughts impelling you to say things you now regret? Did you plan something bad, not wholesome, not upbuilding? If so, the day is not yet lost. Bad thoughts can be dismissed, bad speech can be stopped. (Phil. 4:8) You can refuse to let the sun set while you are in a provoked state. (Eph. 4:26) Yes, one can start changing immediately for the better, and that can still make it a day that ends well.
Though some days will be pleasanter, more trouble-free than others, for the Christian every day can be good. He can daily be content with his sustenance and covering, expressing thanks to the heavenly Provider for such things as he does have. (1 Tim. 6:8) He can even be happy in time of persecution, considering it a privilege to suffer even as Jesus suffered for doing right. The mistakes he makes can be lessons of life, stepping-stones on the way to future successes. Losses can often be recovered, disappointments can be allowed for, worries can be dispelled as he recalls Jesus’ counsel: “Never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties”; but God’s care is ample to resolve them all.—Matt. 6:25-34.
How fine it would be to be able to view each day as does our Creator. In the opening chapter of the Bible you can read about the preparation of this globe in six creative days or periods during which Jehovah’s dynamic holy spirit was active. Note how, at each day’s end, God could pronounce its work good. Thousands of years later we still enjoy the many good gifts and perfect presents that the Creator provided for the present (and future) use of obedient humankind—yes, because of what he did on those ‘good days.’ Will anyone benefit enduringly from what we do today?
Of course, in order to be able to look forward confidently to genuinely good days, a person needs to know about God’s will for humans and conform his life to that will. That will mean a change of thinking and a change in course of action, for we were all born with sinful tendencies—selfish, self-willed, independent in attitude. Can such a change be made? Is it possible? Yes, because the reasonable God expects it of us, and he even points clearly to the method of achieving it. “Be transformed by making your mind over” is the counsel he offers. (Rom. 12:2) This means filling our minds with God’s thoughts as recorded in the Bible, thereby displacing and ejecting the immature and inaccurate thinking of mere men.
It is our earnest wish that you may find both enjoyment and benefit from the articles presented in the magazine you are now reading. May this day indeed be a good one for you as you ‘bring in a heart of wisdom,’ counting your days from the lofty viewpoint of your Creator, the King of Eternity.