Psalm 71:7-16 The Message
My God, free me from the grip of Wicked,
from the clutch of Bad and Bully.
You keep me going when times are tough—
my bedrock, God, since my childhood.
I’ve hung on you from the day of my birth,
the day you took me from the cradle;
I’ll never run out of praise.
Many gasp in alarm when they see me,
but you take me in stride.
Just as each day brims with your beauty,
my mouth brims with praise.
But don’t turn me out to pasture when I’m old
or put me on the shelf when I can’t pull my weight.
My enemies are talking behind my back,
watching for their chance to knife me.
The gossip is: “God has abandoned him.
Pounce on him now; no one will help him.”
God, don’t just watch from the sidelines.
Come on! Run to my side!
My accusers—make them lose face.
hose out to get me—make them look
Like idiots, while I stretch out, reaching for you,
and daily add praise to praise.
I’ll write the book on your righteousness,
talk up your salvation the livelong day,
never run out of good things to write or say.
I come in the power of the Lord God,
I post signs marking his right-of-way.
We let age define us. Baby Boomers and Millennials are at war with one another about owning property and eating too much avocado toast. We seek experienced applicants for jobs that are fit for individuals seeking experience. We frown upon the ignorance of youth, longing for more wisdom while ignoring the wise, wishing for a more youthful approach. We ignore our elderly and push them to the margins of society. We strive to prove ourselves in early years, dread our “growing older” middle years, and long for the good ole’ days in our later years. At what age are we adequate?
I like this prayer because it isn’t placed into an age appropriate category. It speaks to all stages of life (property owners and brunch-loving individuals alike.) In the opening passages it speaks to our birth and youth, reminding us of where we’ve been and where God met us. In the middle passages it laments being seen as useless in our old age and pleads to God for purpose. And in the last passage, it reminds us that despite everything, no matter where we are on the pilgrimage of life, we will “never run out of good things to write or say.” In the eyes of God, we are always adequate.
And so, I take heart in knowing that God takes us all in stride (thank the Lord). I’m reminded of and encouraged by the foundation of my faith and find strength in knowing that God will not desert me in the years to come. My purpose is clear no matter how old I am. “I’ll never run out of praise.”
Here’s a prayer for today:
Holy One, fill our lives with gratefulness that overwhelms our complicity. Allow thankfulness to fill our words and deeds with Your Love. Amen.
This devotional was written by Abby Madden. Abby is a member of Immanuel in the Evening’s worship team.