As I move through my 67th year, I am disciplining myself to read Scripture asking, “What does this passage have to say to an aging adult like me?” Often, I find small nuggets of insight; at other times, the entire reading speaks an important word to me at this age and stage of life.
Psalm 23 is a recent example–and one I am using this very week in my teaching ministry at a Bible Conference here in Florida. This well-known psalm has unfolded along the theme, “In Good Hands ” I see David, having walked with God as a mature adult himself, writing words born of life experience. And he sees God’s hands to being good hands for us as we age.
To begin with, they are Yahweh’s hands. David chose the most-often used word for God to begin the psalm–the word which speaks to us of God’s redemptive purpose. God is for us!
And God’s hands are caring for us right now, and doing so as a Shepherd who guides and guards his sheep. Every aspect of our lives is cared fir, so that we lack for nothing in God’s providential love.
God’s caring hands lead us to places of rest and refreshment–places where we are restored and renewed in righteousness. God’s hands are signs of the Spirit’s presence–the Father’s nearness, protecting us with the rod and staff, preparing lucious and secure grazing lands, healing whatever wounds come upon us, and giving us more than we could ever ask for or imagine.
Looking back over the years if his life, David invites us to look back over the years if our life, and when we do, we ill see that goodness and mercy have accompanied us. On the basis of God’s steadfastness, we have hope that we will remain in God’s hands forever.
And if course, all that David wrote about in Psalm 23 became incarnate in Jesus, the Good Shepherd–the one of whom we can declare thatvwe are in good hands.
This meditation only scratches the surface of the psalm’s insights for those of us who happily carry our AARP cards, and who realize that every stage of life is sacred because God has created it and walks with us in it. As John Wesley exclaimed as an old man on his dying day, “The best of all is, God is with us!”