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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Young and Old Man

(Psalm 37:25)  I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

The psalmist made it clear that he had confidence in the Lord taking care of him. However, because he made it so clear it does make one wonder if he did not have another point in mind.

Perhaps the other point had more to do with convincing the doubters and complainers about God’s love and provision than it was about himself.

In so doing he even felt it necessary to mention the whole spectrum of his life which included the two men that he was…the young man that he used to be who was daring, fearless and a forward think and the older man that he had become who thought things out a little deeper and was a bit more cautious.

I suppose the questions is…At what point in life do we change from being daring to being cautious, from being fearless to over thinking things, from believing that we can conquer the whole world to resting under a juniper tree like Elijah?

When the older you starts looking back at life it usually becomes very clear that you really were two people…the young man and the old. As an eighty year old man I can objectively look at my own span of life and say, “I am not the same man I used to be.”

The trials and tests that I have experienced have reshaped me into another man…hopefully a man of more spiritual substance. As an older man who can look back at my life like David did and say with him, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

I am always intrigued when I look at the obituary page in our newspaper and see the young and the old pictures of the deceased. Without exception the two pictures look like two different people. In their younger pictures all the women usually look pretty and all the men usually look handsome. However, their older pictures tell a completely different story.

In studying their faces (as I usually do)…I wonder what happened in the years between the younger and  the older picture. At what point did their youthful dreams of conquering the world fade and cold hard reality set it? How much pain, heart ache and disappointment did each one experience?

Without the Lord there is no hope for anyone. With the Lord many of those youthful dreams really do come true. Without the Lord many of the years between young and old could be lived in doubt, fear and unbelief. With the Lord faith and expectancy never die.

While looking back and analyzing  my own long life I have come to one conclusion. Even though I was not the same man as I am now…I still loved the Lord and He protected me…both the man I was and the man I became.

Father,
Even though our life may be made up of two people (the young and the old)…You are “the same yesterday, today and forever.” Thank You Lord for Your love, patience and provision for us as we grow more into Your image.

Amen

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