YOUNG AND OLD
By Wayne S. Walker
"I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread" (Psalm 37:20). Like David, "I have been young." No, I cannot remember being born, but I do have various memories of childhood and youth, most happy but some not so happy. Over the years I have experienced the joys of graduation, marriage, and the arrival of children, as well as the sorrows of losing my brother and my mother along with other dear relatives and friends, and a few unpleasant "church fusses" along the way. Yet, when I was young, I was taught to "remember now your Creator in the days of your youth" (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Through it all I have always endeavored to do just that.
Whether I "now am old" or not seems to be a matter of dispute. My children think I am, but several saints who are more advanced in years than I am have told me, "You’re still just a youngster." These are my friends, and I love them. Furthermore, having passed the half-century mark a few years ago, I regularly receive letters in the mail announcing that I now qualify for membership in AARP–a privilege that I have thus far graciously declined, although my gray hair and white beard (when I let it grow) certainly make me look the part. However, whatever happens as I grow even older, I have God’s promise, "Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you" (Isaiah 46:6).
Still, I must agree with David that "I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread." This does not mean that the righteous will never suffer, but it is similar to Christ’s general statement that if we fear God and keep His commandments, all the necessities of life will be granted (Matthew 6:33). Like Paul, "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound….I have learned both to be full and to be happy…" (Philippians 4:12). Whether my family and I have been satisfied or suffered want, God has still taken care of us and provided for our needs. As L. O. Sanderson wrote, "Though I, through the valley of shadow, O’er mountain or troubled sea, And oft in the darkness, have travelled, The Lord has been mindful of me! The Lord has been mindful of me! He blesses and blesses again! My God is the God of the living! How excellent is His name!" Therefore, I will continue to trust God’s promises.