My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. (Ps. 71:8–9)
I have a younger brother who is always taunting me about getting old. He likes to compare his physical prowess to mine with feats of strength, even pointing out how few gray hairs are on his head. When we go on hikes, he likes to pick up the pace and leave me in the dust. I try to remind him that he will eventually catch up with me in age, but he only laughs, thinking that the prime of his life will last forever.
Psalm 71 was written at the end of King David’s life. For that reason, he lamented that scoffers were waiting to pounce on him in his weak and frail state. He remembered when he praised his God as a youth, during his accomplishments and early successes. But in his old age, he required the Lord to be his refuge, a rock and fortress, so he would continue to praise him all day long. His age allowed him to be more aware of how God had been his strength through all seasons of his life.
We all will eventually learn that God is strong when we are weak. Actually, we are always weak and in need of his help, in whatever seasons of life we are in, young or old. For it is in our weakness that we come to see the power of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
Discover the unique weakness of your age; rely on Christ’s strength.
Rich Eckley is professor emeritus of theology at Houghton College (NY). He is an ordained Wesleyan minister, and enjoys—with his wife Lynn—entertaining four active grandchildren.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.