“I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm13:6).
I am continually surprised by the things I am learning in my 60’s, things that I did not know or understand earlier in life. I have come to realize that wisdom is sum of knowledge plus life-experience. I have, with each fresh awakening, found myself asking God, “Why did I not see this twenty years ago?” His answer to me has been, “You couldn’t see it twenty years ago.”
As I have served the Lord these past forty-six years, I have had many questions, I have gone through times of disappointment and disillusion. I have questioned God and His methods. But today, I can honestly say, I have no complaints concerning God’s dealings with me. From this vantage point I am beginning to see that He has never let me down, that all of the mountain tops and valleys of my life have been the instruments that He has used to transform me, bit by bit, into the image of His Son.
I have recently told individuals, sitting in my office for counsel, “You should have been here thirty years ago, when I had all of the answers.”
What I have today is an ever-growing confidence in Him and His Sovereign plan. Below is a prayer from the Puritans, I sense that this prayer was prayed by someone with gray hair and a lifetime of walking with God. I hear it in the line, “All Your work for me and Your will for me is perfect.”
My heavenly Father, though I am allowed to approach You through the redeeming work of Your Son, I am not unmindful of my sins, I do not deny my guilt, I confess my wickedness, and earnestly plead forgiveness.
Help me to place myself always under Your guiding and guarding care, to take firmer hold of the sure covenant that binds me to You, to feel more of the purifying, dignifying, softening influence of the faith I profess, to have more compassion, love, pity, courtesy, to deem it an honor to be employed by You as an instrument in Your hands, ready to seize every opportunity of usefulness, and willing to offer all my time, talents, and resources to Your service.
You have done for me all things well, You have remembered, distinguished, and indulged me.
All my desires have not been gratified, but I know Your love denied them to me when fulfilment of my wishes would have proved my ruin or injury.
You have often wiped away my tears, restored peace to my anxious heart, and disciplined me for my good.