Hovering over Psalm 71. There’s a song for old people in the bible, for those “in the time of old age” (v.9) and sporting a few “gray hairs” (v. 18). Who knew?
Apparently, it hit my radar a couple of years ago, as well — when being “old” was to be “at risk” for some newly discovered, highly contagious, fast spreading disease.
Somehow you think that the senior years should be serene and simple years — not so much. Not for us, not for the ancient songwriter. But God remains a refuge. The One who has been my trust from youth is worthy of my hope in my not-so-youth. Still worthy of my praise continually. Still faithful. For the One who has “made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again” (v.20). Even so, Lord Jesus, revive me again.
Here are my thoughts from March 2020 . . .
Good Sunday with the church yesterday. Not, at the church, but with the church.
Our “sheltered in place” body met together via the wonders of technology, some “connecting” afterwards with texts and emails of mutual encouragement. After “going off the air”, my co-production buddy and I sat with the Lord around His table and remembered His past work on our behalf on the cross and, rejoiced in His current work on our behalf making intercession at the right hand of the Father. Then we transitioned from our makeshift “broadcast studio” to his office, pulled out our guitars and worshiped. So sweet! And after an afternoon of more sheltering in place (which I do most Sunday afternoons in a semi-conscious fashion, so not too different), I got to hang out with my small group via video conferencing last night. Just seeing those saints is a balm for the soul.
Like I said. A good Sunday with the church yesterday. Last night’s sleep was the best sleep I’ve had all week.
But, here we are, another week of uncertainty in front of us.
And, as I’m reading in Psalm 71 this morning, a reminder of something that irks me about the current situation we’re enduring. The constant reminder that I am in the “at risk” group. The reminder that I’m not the young and the invincible any longer. That I’m way past the “spring chicken” season of life. (Also a reminder that my ego still has some sanctifying to undergo.)
As I hover over the songwriter’s song this morning, guessing it’s David, he’s older and still having to deal with troubles in his life. And still having to make the conscious decision, every day, to take refuge in the LORD, to “continually come” to the One who is his rock and his fortress (71:1, 3).
Seems his “golden years” aren’t so golden. You know what I mean. In our culture in particular, we want to believe that our latter years should be our more leisurely years. That it should be a season of more ease than exertion, of more comforts than concerns, of more carefree wandering then constant worrying. Isn’t that what the golden years should be about? Not necessarily, it would seem.
And here’s the perspective offered by the songwriter that’s got me thinking this morning. Here’s what I’m chewing on . . .
O God, from my youth You have taught me, and I still proclaim Your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like You?
(Psalm 71:17-19 ESV)
The stuff the songwriter had known from his youth, would be the stuff that would sustain him in his golden years, even when, at times, the gold seemed a bit tarnished.
While things around us might change ever so drastically, and ever so quickly, our God never changes. He is still the God of the wondrous deeds of the past. His power is still all-powerful. His righteousness, still perfectly righteous. His faithfulness, always faithful.
And I’m inspired by the psalmist’s motivation for running to his Rock, for wanting to keep on keepin’ on, for wanting to finish well — so that he could proclaim the might of His God to another generation. To not just shelter in place to self-preserve, but, even in how he sheltered in place, to model what it is to trust in his Rock and his Refuge. To live out what it is to really “walk by faith and not by sight” (2Cor. 5:7).
For You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
(Psalm 71:5 ESV)
Another week ahead of us, if the Lord be not come, to declare His goodness to another generation. To testify of His power to all who might hear. Even as we shelter in the shadow of His wings (Ps. 57:1).
I might be in the “at risk” stage of life, but I also want to be in the “at peace” rhythm of life.
Sheltered in place. Sheltered in peace.
By His grace. For His glory.