Updated: May 25, 2021
I have almost completed my 72nd lap around the Sun and I’m an old man now. I’m not sure if it is one of’ the many failings of old age but I seem to find myself wandering down the highways of the heart. Those reflections take me down the public highways and the private byways of my life. Occasionally those roads were smooth but most were long and rocky.
Sometimes those visits down memory lane come crowding into my present thoughts with the unexpected impact of an emotional ambush. Sometimes, flashbacks of long forgotten memories come to light in my mind’s eye. Sometimes they’re displayed in Technicolor, Dolby surround-sound and with the smallest details in focus. It might be a song that triggers the flashback; sometimes a Deja vu moment conjures a past event - sometimes it’s a place or a mood or a simple gesture. Sometimes it’s a time of the year or the change of seasonal light or something elusive in the air. They often flood my soul with cherished memories of more innocent times. Sometimes they fill me with a haunting sense of melancholy that touches the deepest cords of my heart.
I look at my long pilgrimage and those I knew, and those I labored with and the many seasons of church life I have weathered and feel the emotional force of my reflections. I remember loves won and loves lost and those who brought a smile to my face and those who brought a tear to my eye. I remember the seasons of deep pain and those moments of profound joy. Some reflections grip my heart with an almost physical sensation of sorrow and sadness.
Yes, I have seen life from both sides now – the good, the bad and the ugly. Yet, when I look back over the course of my life, my thoughts inevitably return to Him. The one thought that stands above and beyond all else is His unwavering faithfulness, even when I wasn’t. Looking back, I have concluded just as David did; “I have been young, and now am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His descendants begging bread.” I’ve found that His promise that He would never leave or forsake me has never faltered in the best of times and the worst of times. And, I have been persuaded time and time again that, “neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God...”
I have seen that through all the seasons of my life He has worked all things together for good. Through all the dangers, toils and trials I’ve seen that His grace has brought me safe thus far and though, “many are the afflictions of the righteous... the Lord delivers him out of them all.” And now that I’ve come to the final chapters of my life, I am confident of this very thing; “that He who has begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” and “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day."
When I remember what the Lord has done for me and consider His enduring faithfulness, His loving kindness, His tender mercies and His keeping power I am moved to tears of thankfulness.