“Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come” (Psalm 71:18 – New King James Version).
I used to go fishing with a man I called Uncle John. He seemed ancient when I was young. One day, one of my friends asked me, “Why do you want to go fishing with that old man?” I thought for a bit, and answered, “When you and me go fishing we end up throwing rocks. When Uncle John and me go fishing, we catch fish!”
There is something right and noble in an older person having a desire to take a younger person under their wing and teaching them things of the Lord. This was the wish of the Psalmist in this case. David wanted God to maintain him so that he may declare the wonder of God to the coming generation. In his years of walking with God, David had been awed so many times by Him that he stated, “Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God?” (Psalm 71:19 – New Living Translation). David wanted to declare this marvel…this God of wonder! He wanted our Heavenly Father to sustain him for that very purpose!
It is too often that we miss opportunities to be taken under the wing of a more experienced Christian, or the opportunity to take someone under our wing. We spend our time with folks of like age and experience and miss a wealth of witness. We miss, quite often, the sheer joy of participating in helping someone to grow in the Lord by sharing with them.
Sure, throwing rocks is fun, but it is much more a blessing to accomplish what you set out to do. What God intends for us to do is glorify Him. We learn that breath by breath. Often times, one needs the guidance of experience. Uncle John gave me that very thing when it came to fishing. The Apostle Paul said, “Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as though he were your own father. Talk to the younger men as you would to your own brothers” (1 Timothy 5:1 – NLT). We would do well to remember that, live it, and teach it to others.
Take someone under your wing today. Allow yourself to be mentored. Ask God to prolong your days that you may be able to proclaim His strength to the generations to come. Pass it on.
[This devotion is dedicated to Phillip and Barbara Barnes. Two saints who know no boundaries of service and no limits of age. They took me under their wings. I praise God for the evidence of Him in them.]