AGE & PRAISE
by Alvin Hathaway, Sr.
Psalm 63: 3 “Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”
Age is maturity gained though wisdom
Praise is acknowledging the sovereignty of God.
I met with a childhood friend of mine the other day for lunch. He looked at me and said; man you have a lot of gray hair. You should do like I do. When you take a shower, just put a little color in your hair. I smiled and told him. It took me too long to grow it like this!
“God keep my heart attuned to laughter
When youth is done;
When all the days are gray days, coming after
The warmth, the sun.
God keep me then from bitterness, from grieving,
When life seems cold;
God keep me always loving and believing
As I grow old.”
As one matures in age they should gain wisdom though the understanding that life’s lessons of love and longevity will bring you closer to God.
That’s why Age and Praise belong together.
- Age enhances praise because of authentic experiences.
Thou my everlasting portion, more than friend or life to me, All along my pilgrim journey, Savior, let me walk with Thee. – takes on new meaning when life has taught you what it means to have God as your everlasting portion.
When peace like a river attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.
Longevity tell you that when you finally get a hold of God and God has gotten a hold of you. You become like the tree planted by the water and you’ll say, I shall not be moved.
Let look closely at the text and see how the life of David informs us in this Psalm. Psalm 63 was written when David was in the wilderness fleeing from his son, Absalom, who had taken over his Kingdom and was attempting to kill him. Age tells you that trouble can rise up in your own home, even among you children. The ones you have given your all to, invested in, sometimes can be the very ones to try to destroy you spirit, kill your joy, break your heart. But David knew that even though he had to leave for a place and flee to the wilderness. David knew something about God.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou are there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Age confirms in your spirit that if your heart is right, if your spirit is sincere, if your mind is stayed on Jesus. God is an ever-present help even in the time of trouble.
That’s why David in his wilderness experience could say with assurance.
“Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”
Loving-kindness. Kindness is calling someone on the phone and asking if they are all right. Loving-kindness is stopping by their house and bringing them some chicken soup and sitting beside their bed and feeding them until they want no more.
Kindness is inquiring. Loving-kindness is compassion.
When David thought about the Loving-kindness of God. God is a Shepard. God is a shield. God is a bridge over trouble water. God is a healer. God is a comforter. God is the lily of the valley. When David thought about the goodness of the Lord!!!
That’s why you praise the Lord. When life has given you some experience. When you been though the storm. When you seen the lighting flash. When you’ve heard the thunder roll, then you know there is a God somewhere. And his promise is true. God promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me. Never to leave me alone.
David like each one of you stood on that faith during his time of trouble.
Trouble on one hand – wilderness in the middle – triumph on the other.
Because when David has the battle with the army of Abasalom, he defeats them and wins the battle.
2. Praise can extend age. Praise can extend your life. Many of you know that if you listen to what your medical doctors say, friends say, people say. You would have been gone a long time ago. But praising God can extend you life. King Hezekiah was told that his time on earth was coming to an end. He turned his face to the wall and prayed to God that I can’t praise you in the grave. God heard his pray and extended his life fifteen more years to praise his name.
Someone hear knows what it is to have Age and Praise. Someone has had an experience with God and knows that you just couldn’t keep it to yourself. You must tell somebody.
I have a friend who when she was 89 years old had a double heart by-pass. Many people wondered why have such a serious operation at such an advanced age. I met with her family. Prayed with her. She told me of her faith in God and her belief that God was with her. I had grown to love her and was very afraid that she might not be strong enough to with stand the trauma of the operation. She told me everything was going to be alright.
The night of the operation I prayed to God to allow to not necessary experience healing, but to experience wholeness. Healing is the recovery of your body. Wholeness is the recovery of your spirit and the experience of joy. The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Last Monday, she was 94 years old and I stood on the corner of McCulloh and Stevens Street and dedicated a former fire station that was completely renovated and had become a community center, day care center, banking center and office space. She was there because the building was named for her. The mayor was there, the congressman was there, the state senator was there, the four television stations where there, and people came from everywhere. Her doctor was there taking pictures. And I thanked God for the life of Maggie Jones who not only experienced healing, but wholeness. Five years ago was laying on an operation table and on this day was witnessing a building being dedicated in her honor.
I want you to know that age and praise goes together.
Praise God from whom all blessing flow . Praise God here below. Praise God.