“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
“Even When I Am Old and Gray”
(Please read Psalm 71:17-18)
The whole panorama of many lives, from youth through old age, is beautifully pictured in our text. Some oldsters may not have come to the Lord in their youth, but they too can declare the marvelous deeds of the Lord and boldly ask him not to forsake them. And they have the happy privilege of telling younger folks some of what they have learned in living for Christ.
We think of the knowledge in some of those gray heads and wonder sometimes why their juniors don’t ask them more often for advice. But most oldsters don’t fret much about such matters. Experience has taught them that each generation must learn most of its lessons firsthand.
Sometimes it is best for seniors to refrain from expressing their feelings too openly. Look what happened when the returning exiles laid the foundation of a new temple in Jerusalem on the site of the old one. While “the people” gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, the “older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud” ( Ezra 3:10-13, NIV). Most were rejoicing at seeing tangible evidence that the temple was being rebuilt, but others (older ones) were so disappointed in the smaller size of the new building that they cried about it.
You know, it may be best for seniors to react a little slower when they are disappointed in what others are doing. Sure, they can express their views and younger folks can learn from them, but only if they use the gentleness and tact that should be characteristic of all God’s children.