Psalm 103:15-18

As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. Psalm 103:15-18

This last birthday hit me like a ton of bricks. I do realize that my teenage years are far behind me (although I still wear basketball shoes and jeans to work more often than not.) My children graduating from high school, and my daughter from college, finally brought my mental age up at least to theirs. Having three grandchildren pushed me toward my upper 30’s. But now that I’m 55 I have little choice but realize that I have arrived at the dreaded middle-ages.

If my mind can’t wrap itself around this reality, the constant pain in my knees is always ready to help. Yes, Mr. Psalmist, you nailed it. As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

If I live as long as my parents did, I have about 12 years left. Personally I’d like to extend that streak a bit. But the real question that this psalm poses is not “how many years will we live?” but “what will we do with the years we have?”

None of us can change the past. Yesterday is gone forever. Memories linger, consequences for good or ill linger, but we can’t change the past. Thus we do well not to try to live there.

The odds are very good that tomorrow will come. The sun will rise and the clock will tick. But there is nothing we can do today that will hasten its arrival or speed up its ticking. If you want to parent a 10 year old then it will take you 10 years to do it.

Which means that all we really have is now. Just now. How will we do our lives now?

The psalmist assures us once again of the steadfast, never ending, love of God. We can count on that. But will we rely on that? Will we content ourselves to know about God and pose our hypothetical questions about the future or will we KNOW God now, right now?

To know God is to respect God, to obey God, to live in relationship with God. Here’s what I know about that – whenever I slow my personal mental clock down to this very moment, let go of the regrets of the past, let go of my fears for the future, and focus instead of God’s presence with me in this moment, then respecting, obeying, and living in relationship with God and others is actually possible.

Really, actually, and wonderfully possible!

Let us pray: Before you read this prayer, take just a moment to slow down. Close your eyes and breathe. Be still and quiet. Then pray:

For every moment of my life, I give you thanks O Lord. You sustain me through the horrible times, fill me with joy in the best of times, and stand with me even as I ignore you and reject your ways. In this moment, I surrender my life and my will to your care and keeping. Help me do the next right thing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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6 Responses to “Psalm 103:15-18”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I have been reading a book about living in the Now. Your words today are an affirmation from God that I don’t need to worry about tomorrow, that the pain I feel is temporary and that my trust in our Lord is true.
    Thank you for saying YES to His request to start writing again. It truly touches lives and bring our Saviors words to life. May God bless you today and everyday.

  2. Bill Decker Says:

    Sometimes when I hear people in the church (and outside the church) use the word grace, my mind wonders just “what does grace mean” in everyday life. Lutherans especially like to sum up their teachings readily with the word grace. Everything is grace. But I’m often still left wondering what it may mean in everyday life and I’m Lutheran). I think you prayer today put flesh on the word “grace.” Thanks.

  3. Sharon Boyd Says:

    I can definitely share your feeling about aging and dealing with it. I was laid off my job of 11 years unexpectedly on Oct 2nd, and then had to “celebrate” my 73rd birthday on the 31st. What does this life have for me any longer? I am working on it with the Lord. That must be it, to deepen my relationship with HIM and understand what HE has in mind for me. Guess we’ll all continue this walk at sometime in our lives here. God bless you.

  4. Arlene Hindbjorgen Says:

    I want to thank you for your wonderful devotions.
    Everyone of them seem to be exactly what I need that day. You truly have a gift and I’m glad you’re back doing them for us.
    Thank you again.

  5. John Glendening Says:

    Pastor Kerry —
    I feel your pain and your current place in life. I’m 68, with a one year old titanium hip and two plastic lenses in the orbs of my natural eyes. The rest of me hurts, but one way to alleviate that pain is to keep moving. My loving wife, my sons, and friends say slow down and enjoy life. I say IF I slow down, I will focus on the pain instead of the joy of life.

    God gave us joy, along with our many other gifts. I choose joy!

    John

  6. Carolee Says:

    My grandmother had a plaque on her bedroom wall that I read every night I spent with her, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 We also recited Psalm 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd”, and closed with :The Lord’s Prayer”. That never failed to focus my attention on God in the moment, and to feel his presence.

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