Thursday, March 04, 2010

To the Next Generation

From Psalm 71

In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness;
turn your ear to me and save me.

Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,

for you are my rock and my fortress.
For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother's womb.

I will ever praise you.
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.
Be not far from me, O God;
come quickly, O my God, to help me.

But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.
Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come.

How quickly time passes" is such a cliche. I know. But it seems more and more true to me as I grow older. As a child I longed to serve God. I prayed with simple faith, and sometimes I clung to my belief in God's love with a kind of desperation. If not to God, where could I go? As a teenager I struggled to discover who I was, what God had fashioned me to be, how I could serve. As a young wife and mother I prayed for my little family, and I wondered what the future would bring. And now I wonder how it can possibly be that my children are grown, my youth is past, a little person calls me "Grandma" -- and yet some of my thoughts, longings, hopes...are not so different from what they were then.

But now the focus seems to have changed. I am thiniking of what legacy I will leave behind me, who will be blessed because I was in their life, what difference witll I have made? I'm not being morbid, I'm being honest. Perhaps you remember the old saying,

Only one life,
'Twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ
will last.

If you are young, do not waste these precious years! If you have small children--ah, I know how busy and frantic life can be, but treasure this time. If you, like me, are wondering where the time went, then join me today in seeking how God would have us declare His power to the next generation. Life is short, but eternity is forever. What will you bring with you?

Only people.

Lord of all generations, help us to faithfully declare your glory, power and love to the next generation--our children and those of others as well. Give us grace and creativity and love that will reach and transform a young generation that is increasingly leaving faith behind, struggling to find roots, boundaries and hope. Grant us too, the kindness and patience to deal gently with our elders. Help us to declare your glory mostly by our actions--and when necessary, give us the words to say. For your Kingdom's sake, Amen.

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