May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us. (Ps. 90:17)
My dad was a World War II veteran. He was a captain in the British Army, fighting from 1939 until finally coming home in 1952. My dad understood, through the horror of war, that nothing that humans create is permanent. One of his favorite sayings was, “Nothing lasts forever; everything eventually dies or changes.” The reality of war created a pessimism in my father, yet also, I think, a genuinely profound knowledge of how fleeting life can be. As time went on, my dad developed a more optimistic, “enjoy life to the fullest” attitude.
In today’s psalm, we can see the spectrum of pessimism and optimism, despair and hopefulness. However, in the range of human emotional experience that the psalmist expresses, what stands out is the sovereignty, omnipresence, and omnipotence of God. Verse 2 tells us, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” The psalmist realized that the only place to find permanence is in God.
Whether in an instant or over a lifetime, most humans realize that life is short, and we need to make the most of our limited lifespan. That knowledge creates despair in some, but for those who love the Lord, it creates hope, joy, and love. Those folks cry out, “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us.”
Choose today to believe in God and have God’s favor on you.
Chris Whetlor serves as spiritual formation pastor at Real Life Wesleyan Church in Mechanicsville, Maryland, and is completing a DMin in spiritual formation at Wesley Seminary.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.