Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. Psalm 71:9-10
Read and/or listen to Psalm 71 again today. We will be doing this each day this week. Old age brings problems. It is hard to get old. The elderly are not valued in our culture and in our age in
the way that they are in other cultures and at other times. Old age is resisted and even those who are aging try to hang on to youth in the way they dress or the activities they participate in. Honor and respect is not necessarily freely given to the elders in our culture and their wisdom is not valued. And so, we are left in the reality that it is hard to embrace aging. Our bodies waste away (2 Corinthians 4:16). Our strength goes away, and we can feel cast aside. Also, as we age, we realize that many of our enemies stay the same. For David, his enemies were those who battled against him, but also those thoughts and feelings he held on to from his past failures and weaknesses. Those voices become louder in some ways as we age. The silence of more solitude can be filled with accusations (“my sin is always before me”—Psalm 51:3). How can we combat the truth that aging is hard? By resting in the truth that God is not our enemy and, in fact, is our Helper. “Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me” (verse 12). Perhaps you are wrestling with the problems of aging. Perhaps your strength is fading. Perhaps you are listening to voices of accusation. Cry out to the Lord. He is your helper and your shield.