Summary: In Leap Year, an extra day is given, but our days on Earth are few and uncertain, unlike God who is eternal but through faith in Jesus we may have eternal life with Him.
One of the most frequent words in the Bible is the word ‘Day’. It’s used many hundreds of occasions because we’re living in time. When God created the world Genesis tells us it was over 6 days – how long those days were is not really known but on each we’re told ‘there was evening and there was morning’, so each day has a time span.
Each of our days are measured in the 24 hours it takes for the Earth to rotate on its axis. A year is the time the Earth takes to revolve around the Sun, about 365 and a quarter days. That’s why every four years an extra day at the end of February is added – well that’s not quite true because if the year is not divisible by 400 it’s missed, but we certainly added an extra day in 2008. This calendar has been in operation since 1752 and it was then that an adjustment of 11 days had to be made to the old calendar to correct an error in its calculation. This confused some people who thought their life on Earth was being cut short and others thought they were paying their landlords rent for days they’d never had! Yes, our life on Earth is spent in days, and each is important because we don’t know how many we have left.
A wise man living at the time as Jesus said, ‘We are always complaining that our days are few and at the same time acting as if they would never end’ (Seneca BC4 – AD65, Roman statesman and philosopher). That’s very true. The psalmist had some important things to say about our days: ‘The length of our days is 70 years – or 80, if we have the strength … for they quickly pass, and we fly away’ (90:10). He realises that there’s no guarantee that we’ll even reach 80 and so he asks God, ‘Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom’ (12). All too often we live our days as if they will never end. But a visit to the doctor or a tragic accident close to home, reminds us that we have just one short, uncertain life.
God’s days are quite different from ours. He doesn’t experience time like we do. The psalmist tells us, ‘A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has gone by, or like a watch in the night’ (4). God is eternal and the wonderful thing is that if we belong to Him by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, when our short life on Earth is over, we will have the same eternal life as the risen Jesus. We will have the same experience as the psalmist who said he was turning to the Lord, to His ‘unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days’ (13,14).