"You are my confidence from my youth…"
"For you are my hope; Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise shall continually be of You. Psalm 71:5-6
Psalm 71 has always been a special Psalm to me beginning in my early twenties. Even though the writer is not named, he has a testimony from his youth to old age of the faithfulness of God in his life. He learned at an early age to make God His confidence. He had an intimate understanding of God’s hand throughout his life. He recognized God’s key role in His life even at his birth. He has acquired a heart that continually praises God. That alone is quite an accomplishment.
One of the beauties of growing old is the ability to reflect on your life and see the faithfulness of God we often miss while living throughout our most difficult seasons. We hear the Psalmist pray for deliverance with a heart of confidence based on lifelong experience of taking refuge in the Father. If not, old age has a way of making us feel vulnerable, and sadly we suffer a loss of value to those around us when it should be the opposite.
Let’s look at the following verses 7-9:
I have become a marvel to many, for You are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day long. Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
I do believe I too have become a marvel to many as close friends and family have seen the greatness and goodness of God in my life. That doesn’t mean they have observed an easy life. Quite the contrary; but God has always been my refuge and strength. Our mouths should be filled with praise and glory to the ever faithful and true God who loves and keeps us as His own.
Now in my later sixties I have had to cry out to Him as never before to please not forsake me as I become increasingly needy for strength to perform daily duties of a very active lifestyle. For those of us who live alone in old age all of our dependence lies with him when no family is close by. Know that He does remain faithful as he was in our youth. I spent years living alone in my early twenties also. I was just as needy then as now, even though I did have a strong, healthy body. I know He will prove Himself faithful to care for all of us who make Him our God and refuge.
I do hope you will open your Bible and read Psalm 71 in its entirety. I am going to summarize with verses 14-19:
"But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise You more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your salvation all day long; for I do not know the sum of them. I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength in this generation, Your power to all who are to come. For Your righteousness O God, reaches to the heavens. You who have done great things , O God, who is like You?"
May we allow the Psalmist’s prayer to become our own. There is much to learn from this aged writer as there is for the aged followers of Christ that surrounds us in everyday life. May we all remember what our eternal purpose is while on this earth, which is to declare to the next generation His righteousness, and His alone. Our hearts should be filled continually with hope while praising Him more and more. We are to declare in the lives of others His mighty deeds He has performed throughout our lives. Yes, His righteousness reaches to the heavens. He has done great things. Who is like our God?
In His love.
Three generations being together causes me to reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness in our family! It reminds me of my responsibility to declare His marvelous deeds and His faithfulness to all generations! It is the greatest gift we can give one another.