Thursday, April 2
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. Psalm 71:17
The ageing process can be compared to the climb up a very steep hill. One looks back occasionally to see where he has come from as he fearfully tries to ascend the steep slopes. He may slip, slide and sometimes fall, but with God's help and much perseverance he finally reaches the top.
Fortunately, those heights reached enable him to view and give thanks and praise for the beautiful scenery he could not have seen before.
Childhood can be a most happy stage in life, if from very early a child is taught to love and trust the invisible God, and by good example he learns to pray to Him at all times, and especially when he needs help. The hymn-writer draws our attention to this 'delicate' period in one's life:
"When in the slippery paths of youth
With headless steps I ran.
Thy arm, unseen, conveyed me safe
And led me up to man."
(CMP #. 23)
As one approaches old age, that foundation laid in childhood can help to strengthen one’s faith and trust in God when confronted with the challenges of failing health, dwindling resources, loneliness, conflict and rejection.
In Psalm 23, King David shares his thoughts on the shadowy future. "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want .... yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
The foundation of child-like trust is best laid in the youthful days so that throughout life it can act as an anchor in times of trouble.
"Will your anchor hold in the storms of life
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?"
(Sacred Songs # 879)
Dear Jesus, You experienced much pain and suffering, but with the help of your Father, God, you were able to bear it unto death. Give us strength and courage to love and praise you as we face life's trials and tribulations. Strengthen us during this season as we reflect on you, so that we may be armed to face life always. Amen.