January is here and another year begins. As you get older, this pattern of days, months, years, seems to speed up. Christmas will be here again before you know it :). We look forward to spring, which gives way to summer, fall, winter and spring again. This pattern is not always pleasant. A friend warned me the other night as he wrestled with his arthritis, “It’s no fun getting old.”
Psalm 90 speaks of all of this … listen: “… they [people] are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers” … “we bring our years to an end like a sigh. The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.”
But not so the Lord, who is “from everlasting to everlasting.” For Him, “a thousand years … are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” Meditate on that for a moment. Some of you may know a bit about your family history. You may know the name of your great, great, great, great grandfather … or you may be able to even add a few more “greats” … and yet you would be far from tracing your generations back one thousand years. So your entire family tree, Psalm 90 says, is like a watch in the night to the Lord … a moment in time.
How do we, those whose lives are so, well, grass-like, find any comfort in this truth? I say we find comfort in the following way – this Lord is our Lord. He rules over history and time, and so over our days as well. And our grass-like lives, influenced by the presence and power of sin, give way to life eternal because of the eternal God’s willingness to send His Son into the world to save His people, so that all who believe might have eternal life, where sin’s presence, power and penalty are ultimately eliminated. This is good news. I also find comfort in the fact that the God of all history enters into history – in other words, He is present with us for real … He is not outside looking in from a distance, but He cares about our springs, summers, winters and falls … He cares about another new year, because He cares for us and has put us in His family tree, calling us His sons and daughters.
We will be looking at Book IV of the Psalms beginning in January … our starting point will be Psalm 90. It is my desire that our reflections on this psalm and the others in Book IV will be an encouragement to you as you live life as a follower of Jesus. May the Lord be glorified among His people at Living Hope this year and every year. I am glad to be your pastor.