Friday, March 30, 2018

March 30: Psalm 71; For Reaching 70 and Older

Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent.
Psalm 71:9

            Not everyone ages gracefully. Some of us wear our physically but our mental abilities are still sharp. Other decline with dementia but the bodies continue long after there seem to be no spark of the person that once inhabited it. When I was young I thought it would be cool to be a grumpy old curmudgeon. But then I met Christ and my outlook changed. What didn’t change is that I kept getting older. Several years ago, I met an older man who really impressed me with his sunny outlook and joy. He always smiled, laughed, and appeared genuinely pleased when we met and talked briefly. He loved Jesus and his demeanor impressed me. Over the years I would stop and say hi and after several years it was apparent that he had no idea who I was. But he always smiled, laughed, and appeared genuinely pleased to see me. I don’t know if Jim was still in there, but I knew Jesus was. The patterns of life he forged walking with Jesus kept going even as his mind was deteriorating. I pray that if that is the way I go, I’ll be like him.

But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.
Psalm 71:14

            I know that at some point, this body and maybe even mind may be outside of my control, but as long as I can, I will want to continually praise my gracious Lord who has blessed me with eternal life through Jesus Christ. This is a good reminder to praise him more and more.

 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.
Ps 71:18

            Today, I went to the memorial of another older man who always had a smile on his face even when he was going through a long time of physical demise. He wanted to tell the next generation about his Lord, so he planned every detail of his memorial. He wanted those that were left behind to have the joy of personally knowing Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Bill came to know the Lord because was loved sports. He saw a sign held up behind the goal posts that read “John 3:16” and he had to find out what it meant. He made sure that the pastor clarified what it meant to everyone who attended his memorial. I also want to be like Bill. It is a good reminder that I don’t have to wait until my memorial to tell others about Jesus. It is also a good reminder that even after I’m gone, what I write and what I’ve said to others will continue to tell of God’s saving power through Jesus Christ who died on the cross that Good Friday nearly two thousand years ago.

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