Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Psalm 90:1
The first section of this psalm proclaims God as man’s eternal dwelling place despite our few years as individuals on this earth. I immediately recalled the Ecclesiastes quote at the start of Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises: “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever.” The novel’s protagonists live their indulgent dreams and passions dramatically, but soon their lives (and ours) are swept away.
Attributed to Moses, this psalm would have been written during the Exodus as the tribes wandered forty years in the wilderness due to their sin and God’s anger. Even without holy judgment bearing down, Moses laments that our short years are but toil and trouble, soon gone before we fly away. I often told our sons with their children to enjoy these special years; they go fast. Now as I age and my time seems to pass even more quickly, I feel increasingly in tune with Moses as he calls out to God to have pity, to satisfy us with his steadfast love and to favor us with wisdom and meaningful efforts on his behalf, living each day fully to God’s glory.
God is everlasting; we are short term sinful players on this earth, important enough for our Creator to be mindful of and also angry with us. But our God is a loving liberator as demonstrated in coming to earth as Jesus, our guide and Savior who commanded us to love God and our neighbors as ourselves. Bonded to Christ by faith and living in his forgiving light, I pray to not be a bit player in a sad story but a child of God, repentant, reconciled and with hope eternal.
Dear Lord, the years pass too quickly, and now I am weakening with age with a growing poignancy of my return to dust. Thank you. Lord, for your compassion, for your grace in forgiving my sins and restoring me with your heavenly inspiration and love. Let me respond by living my short time on this earth in wisdom, good deeds to others and praise to your eternal presence. Amen.