“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth
all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life
from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed
like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2-5 King James Version
What’s not to like in this description of God’s gifts in our lives?
Sins forgiven, health administered, destruction avoided, lives crowned with love and mercy and mouths filled with satisfying good things … pretty cool stuff. And then comes the line that has great appeal to a society in which appearance often means more than reality: “so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Who at 73 (pardon the personal reference) doesn’t wish he still had his high school 29 inch waist size, his original color of hair, or his ability to run far and fast? Who in their later years doesn’t look back longingly at a time when gazing into a mirror wasn’t all so traumatic? Who wouldn’t want to push back the calendar to a time when our bodies did not conflict with our agendas and goals?
But the Psalmist is talking about more than hair color, tummy tucks and spray on tan!
He is saying that God’s primary objective in our lives is not for us to look good, or be able to turn heads with our everlasting physiques. He’s a bigger God than that and his plan for us goes far deeper than the exterior.
He’s not talking about a youthful body or the energy of an adolescent. He is concerned that we maintain the youthful grace in our lives; not abandon ourselves to cynical and progressive grumpiness. He wants our ability to love and appreciate Him to remain youthful.
He wants the joy of our youth to still overflow … our love for spouse and family and spiritual peers to stay vibrant and healthy. He desires for our love for Him and his Word to be the same as it once was.
As one commentator said: “ (David) … sustained by the bounty of God in his old age he became, as it were, young again.” (Barne’s Notes On The Bible)
This week, do what you can to stay as young physically as you can. Lose that weight. Eat what your body really needs. Stay active. Hang around people who build you up, make you laugh, make you think, make you grow emotionally and spiritually.
But don’t try to fake the inevitable. Eventually your age will begin to show, but remember: “He (God) renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.” Psalm 103:5 the Message And that’s incredibly good news!