Posted by: bshelley | October 17, 2008

Years to Life

Today’s verse: Isaiah 38:5 “Go and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.” NASB

I actually remembered this story wrong. In my memory of it, Hezekiah asked the Lord specifically for 15 more years and the Lord granted his request. It led me to question why he was so conservative in his request. For indeed he lived exactly fifteen more years. However, on review of verses 2-3, Hezekiah simply pleaded to the Lord to remember him, in that he had always tried to do good in the sight of the Lord. God indeed heard his plea and saw his tears. It was God however that put the number of fifteen years on his stay. A good friend recently told me I should pray like Hezekiah and ask God for more time. My reaction was, “Sure, but why limit myself to fifteen more years?” Why not ask for thirty or fifty? When I came across this verse this morning, it was so profound to see the actual request made. I had already made the decision that in my pleas to the Father, I would always simply ask for His will and His best for me to be done in my life. Whether that be fifteen minutes more or fifty years more, my trust is like Hezekiah’s, placed fully in God’s faithful hands. Why would I desire in my heart anything less than God’s best? I remember back to the time right before we quit secular jobs several years ago and went into ministry full time. A comment I made then has rung in my ears often lately. I asked my wife a question when we were discussing whether to wait for retirement before going into ministry or to move then. My words still ring in my ears, “Who says God is going to give me ten more years?” We decided to make the change. I am so glad for it has truly been a blessing. But who knows then what the number of our years may be. We cannot know. Frankly, I would rather not know. When we do gain a sense of the certainty of our own earthly mortality, it either paralyzes or empowers. Hopefully, even though we do not know if the unfolding of our part of the narrative will be concluded today or a thousand todays from now, we realize that we have but today to act. Knowledge that the Lord is faithful and desires His best for me is all the certainty I need. My response must be to serve and glorify Him in today for as long as there are more todays.

Audio Version: seeking-gods-heart-isaiah-38_5


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your heart, Bryan. Your insights into the dilemma of Hezekiah and the focus of his prayer come into much sharper focus from your own experience. You have blessed my life today with a desire to be as submissive in my service of the King as you!

    Thanks and know that you are in my prayers today and everyday!

  2. Thanks Jim. I am the one truly blest to have such a friend as you in the ministry. You are an encouragement personally and professionaly.

  3. Bryan, You are such an inspiration for me. Your faith and trust in our heavenly Father is so beautiful, even in hard times. I thank God that I am blessed to be beside you through the good times and bad. I love you!

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