Sometimes in the morning when I get up, I feel like I'm about 110 years old. By lunch, I can be about 59. On a good day, I can be reaching for 43 in the mid-afternoon. In the evening, I can even be feeling those twenties again. But by bedtime, I'm closer to reality.
Then, I look around me at the "old" people. Some of them have a few years on me and others, surprisingly, are actually younger than I. Next I see the youngsters, those in their forties and the children still in their twenties on down.
Of course, for children, teenagers, and young adults, I'm probably ancient.
In so many ways, age is relative!
I think the first time it struck me was the day I realized that I was as old as my mother was when I first married. It was amazing because I was pretty young!
In the Bible I'm currently reading - a Christmas gift from my wife of a New American Standard 2020 Edition - I came to Psalm 71. Now don't stop reading because of this next statement, but in this edition, this psalm is headed "Prayer of an Old Man for Rescue." (Note that this heading is not part of God's Word - it's from the editors, who are probably still youngsters or children. See above.)
Not to rush you through the first part, as I encourage you to read it for yourself, but I want to jump to verse 20 and work backwards.
I don't really think you have to be very old to have experienced what this verse is talking about. Sure a few more years means you've probably seen it a few more times.
You [God] who have shown me many troubles and distresses
Will revive me again,
And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. (Psalm 71:20 NASB)
Sickness, pain, death. Sweat, toil, trouble, and heartaches. These are the lot of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. As they say, "if you live long enough, you will experience them all."
But note the goodness of God expressed here. In fact, I saw these verses as I looked at the musical verses that followed and I was reminded of a hymn that I'll share at the end of this article.
Then for more on the goodness of God, we have to look no further than the previous verse:
For Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
You who have done great things;
God; who is like You? (Psalm 71:19)
In fact, if you go back and review those verses we jumped over, you'll see many of these "great things" that God has done listed. Once again, you don't have to be old to have experienced God's goodness, but a few more years can give you a greater sense of His presence and His action in the world around you, as well as within you and those you care for.
So, we've looked at a few things:
- God is good!
- Life is filled with blessings and difficulties.
- Age is relative.
But, what is the purpose, the reason, the GOAL of it all for us?
Regardless of our age, the verse that precedes both of these gives us this purpose, this goal:
And even when I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation. (Psalm 71:18 NASB)
It doesn't matter our real age, or our relative age. If you are younger with less experience of the goodness of God, or older with many years of knowing God's strength and help, we have the same job.
We are to tell the generations that follow about our God, about His love, about His care, about His provision, about His strength. For when they encounter the trials of this life, they need to know that God is able to handle them all.
Child of God, it's our job. In words, actions, AND attitudes, let's tell those who are younger than us that GOD IS GOOD!! Amen! Amen!
1. We praise Thee, O God! for the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus who died, and is now gone above.
2. We praise Thee, O God! for Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior, and scattered our night.
3. All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins, and hath cleans'd ev'ry stain.
4. Revive us again; fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled with fire from above.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory,
Revive us again.
("We praise thee, O God! For the Son of thy love" by W. P. Mackay (1863, 1867))
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