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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Turning 70

No, I am not turning seventy!!  But my oldest brother did on May 15th.  He always hits his next big milestone before I hit mine.  I will be 59 on September 10, 2015.

He wrote a poem reflecting on Psalm 90 on his birthday which prompted me to write my own paraphrase loosely based on the same psalm.  

Psalm 90 English Standard Version (ESV)

From Everlasting to Everlasting

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

90 Lord, you have been our dwelling place[a]
    in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You return man to dust
    and say, “Return, O children of man!”[
b]For a thousand years in your sight
    are but as yesterday when it is past,
    or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they 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.
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
    by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
    we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
    or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span[
c] is but toil and trouble;
    they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
    and your wrath according to the fear of you?
12 So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor[d] of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!

My paraphrase:

Lord, I have dwelt with you my entire life. As a baby, and even before, I was brought to church—to every service. My parents' parents went to church and brought their children.

Yet you tell me that before you created this world, these grandparents, these parents of mine, before you created me, there You were—from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

You limit my days and say, “Return to dust, O son, O daughter of Adam."  For I have inherited more than family traits from my ancestors. I have inherited Adam's inclination to rebellion, to wanting to do things my way.

Even if I live to be a thousand years old, to You my life is just like a day that has passed and become yesterday, or like a night that has ended with the sunrise.

Or my life is like a branch that is swept away in a flood, or like the grass that looks so green in the morning dew but withers in the scorching sunlight and by evening is faded and useless.

I know I deserve your anger and wrath. The thought of what I deserve brings me to the end of myself. I see that the character of all my pride and rebellion, even my secret sins, are revealed in the Light of your Presence.

So my days end as insignificant as sigh, even if I live to be eighty. Yet the whole of my life can be summed up in working, striving and facing trouble after trouble. One day I will be gone like a bird that flies away.

I consider the power of your anger, your wrath towards all who are in rebellion and fear you who can kill the soul.

Teach me to consider each day as an opportunity to partner with You; teach my heart to be wise. Return to me, Lord, for I am returning to You. I am repenting of my pride and rebellion. You created me and I cannot live, I cannot find my destiny without You. Have pity on me for I am coming to You humbly.

Only You can satisfy me each morning. Only your unfailing, eternal, never changing love can save me. Only in this Love can I have joy and be glad, truly glad for each day no matter what it holds.

Lord, may I be glad to be in You for as many days as I have rebelled against you and experienced the affliction of my sin. You are the great Restorer. Show me as many years of Your goodness as I have seen years of evil that pride produced in my life.

Let me truly see the work You have done, the work You are doing, the work You will do. Show me Your glory and Your power by Your Spirit.

Let Your favor be upon me, the favor You bestow on Your Son in whom You are well pleased, whose life I have because He gave His life for me. Let the beauty of grace show up in my life. May those things I do here and now count up there and forever as You accomplish all things in my life. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.
As it is in Heaven, as it will be in my life when I am in Heaven, so be it now in my life here on earth. And one day I will fly away to be with You forever. Oh glorious day!

Deborah Cawley, May 16, 2015