Ah Sweet Youth!
Youth–we anticipate it as children, spend it lavishly as young adults, and mourn its loss when we are old. The Path of Life offers a fourth alternative—we can renew our youth in prayer. The Psalmist makes this promise:
Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits…Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Youth is the premium in most cultures of the 21st Century.
- Age and experience have become career liabilities where once they were advantages.
- Children play at being young adults.
- Some adolescents delay adulthood until the last possible moment in a futile attempt to squeeze every ounce of life from the wine-skins of youth.
- Other teens strain at the leash, doing all they can to prepare for adulthood, their young adulthood.
- For a brief time lasting just a few decades, training and experience combine with energy and stamina to produce our maximum output as professionals or craftsmen, thieves or robbers, and workers or players of games.
With little warning, youth begins to wane, strength gradually flees, aches and pains replace flexibility and ease and poof!—youth is gone.
Or is it?
At any stage in this process, the Spirit of God can come to rest upon us as we praise and worship the Lord, pouring our hearts out before Him in prayer.
- Prayer is the green pasture in which He feeds us.
- Worship is the still water by which He leads us.
- The Scriptures are the table He has prepared for us in the face of our enemies.
- In prayer the Lord anoints us with oil, filling us to overflowing with the strength of the Spirit and empowering us to handle the goodness and mercy He sends in pursuit of us each day.
He restores our soul when we spend time with Him—and our youth is renewed like that of the eagle.
The New Testament command is:
Ephesians 6:10 NKJV
…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
This is not a psychological trick. It isn’t mind over matter. It is the Covenantal Promise of God! God knit each of us together in our mother’s womb. He carefully guarded us in our infancy, childhood, teenage years, young adulthood, the prime of our productive lives, the years of declining strength, and all the way through to our translation to His presence beyond this life.
Remember the Eagle!
Along the way, a daily miracle is promised us—the renewal of strength in His presence as we wait on Him. We must not despair over any stage of life; each passage can have a youthful spark, a fresh joy, and a surprising strength.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”-
1 Timothy 4:12-13 NKJV; 2 Timothy 2:22-23 NIV
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Lord Jesus, you entered into time out of a comfortable eternity. You knew growing pains and a child and you experience the sore muscles of a tradesman after a long day’s work. Human weakness is not a theory to you; it is a memory. Help me today to be young spiritually: excited, enthusiastic, optimistic and ready to enjoy serving you. I’ m not there yet, Lord, so I will wait here in Your presence. I know that the strength of youth will return to me in some measure, this time mixed with experience and faith. I shall run or walk or soar like an eagle as the day demands of me—a living demonstration of Your faithfulness and Your mastery of time itself! Thank You, Lord! Amen.
They that Wait upon the Lord
They that wait upon shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings as eagles.
They shall run and not be weary.
They shall walk and not be faint.
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved