During my first year of college as a music major, our chorus sang “Go Not Far From Me” by Zingarelli, which is based on verses in Psalm 71. The first part of the song is slow and somber, written in a minor key; the second half modulates to a major key, brighter and filled with joyous praise. Over forty years later, I can still sing my soprano part because it’s such a beautiful, unforgettable song.
At age eighteen, I had no idea what these powerful words meant, but now, I finally understand them in a personal way.
Old age brings not only physical challenges but emotional and mental ones, too. A lifetime of disappointments, betrayals, and even tragic losses can weigh upon one’s soul. If we don’t keep our spiritual focus on Jesus and are not constantly renewed by the Holy Spirit, our souls can dry up and harden in the desert of bitterness.
Like the psalmist, we too can pray to our Father, who will strengthen us when we are weak and powerless. In Isaiah 46:4, he promises, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs, I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”
Along with our supplication to God, we can continually praise him for all he has done for us. Psalm 71:8 is a good reminder: “My mouth is filled with your praise and with your glory all the day.” It’s amazing how quickly our spirits can revive from despair to joy when we remember to thank and praise God for his loving care.
Almighty Father, please don’t forsake me as age slowly steals my strength. Help me to trust utterly in your strength. And help me remember to daily praise you and thank you for all your mercies and blessings. Amen.
Throughout this day: Whatever your age and whatever the state of your health, invite the Spirit to keep your eyes focused on Christ and his amazing love in both your working and in your resting moments.
Photo Credit: Stefan Vladimirov on Unsplash