Devotional: December 9, 2020
O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
Psalm 71: 17-18 The Message
As we approach the end of the year, we often find ourselves reflecting upon the passing of time. With all that changes, what remains constant? What changes?
Here, the Psalmist relates what he finds to be true for himself. He has aged significantly over the course of his life. He remembers all the way back to his early childhood. Yet as he writes these words, he describes himself as “old and gray”. His station in life has changed significantly over the course of his lifetime. Yet, his energy to proclaim the power of the Lord has not diminished. In fact, most likely it has grown stronger through the years.
Yet in spite of all of the changes in his body, hair color, mind, chronological age, and relationships, his faith in the Lord has been a steady anchor. God has been a constant force in his life. The Lord has taught him much wisdom, and he desires to pass on that knowledge of God to others.
Now that the Psalmist is older, and perhaps older than most of the people who surround him, he finds his purpose in life to be passing on his faith and love for the Lord to a new generation. The Psalmist correctly sees that if we who are older pass the faith on to the next generations, we will have left behind a spiritual legacy.
We have heard the saying, that “with age, comes wisdom”. Here I believe the deepest desire of the Psalmist is for all those who are growing older, to take that wisdom, and as saints pass on the good news of Jesus to the next generation.
Especially over the course of this last year of minimal interaction with others, sometimes older people feel a sense of abandonment. Loneliness may set in. It can be difficult to wrestle with the physical and emotional challenges of ages simultaneously. Yet in spite of being “old and gray”, the Psalmist believes that this is when we should and can take action. The action needed is not so much physical, but more spiritual, and verbal. We pass on the faith with our words.
Many people don’t feel comfortable talking about their faith. They feel like they are pushy, and that others will just understand it without hearing about it. It may just be easier to hope that others understood, rather than put ourselves out there in a vulnerable place.
Today, and during this holiday season, take these words of the psalmist to heart. Find your voice, and your testimony. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, and your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
What is your mission in life?
What legacy do you want to leave?
These are good questions for us to ponder, as we consider our Christian witness, and what we will leave behind for others. How will they remember us?
Thank you, Lord, that I don’t ever need to stop learning about You. Nor do I need to stop sharing You with others. Give me the courage to strike up that conversation, to call that friend, and to be open about all that You have meant in my life. Thank you, Lord, for the years of wisdom You have continually bestowed upon me. Let me always strive to walk closer to You. Confident in Your faithfulness, I pray this prayer of the name of Your son, and our coming Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen