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Reading:                                          Psalm 146

(Verses 1-5)
Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD, my soul.
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God (NIV).

Reflection

Last week I had a delightful telephone conversation with my mom. She was pleased to report that her last and final round of cataract surgery had gone very well. Her vision has greatly improved. Speaking of her follow-up exam, she said, “The most excited person in the room was the doctor. He was thrilled that the surgery turned out so well. I was the oldest patient he had ever operated on.”

Bike Ride 2015-07-28

Around the bend in the trail — photo by David Kitz

My mom is ninety-four, but she doesn’t let a minor thing like that slow her down. After all, age is just a number. She still keeps a busy schedule and out works many women half her age. Who else but my mother would annually sew a hundred quilts and donate them to Lutheran World Relief?

But she knows, just as we all know that her life here on this earth will come to an end. We best make the most of it while we have this precious gift. Time marches on, and time will eventually march us off to the grave as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow on a new day.

In today’s reading from Psalm 146, the psalmist makes a lifelong commitment. He commits himself to praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, my soul. I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

This is not an insignificant commitment. We were made to worship and we all do it, even the atheists among us. Some worship their money; others worship the pleasures of this world. Perhaps the greatest god of the current age is the god of self. Monuments to personal vanity have been erected all around us. I have been known to set up a few of these myself.

Genuine praise for the LORD tears down personal idols. It establishes His lordship over our lives. It acknowledges that He is in control. I have so little power. I can’t turn a white hair to black, at least not in the true sense. But the LORD knows the number of hair on my head and the number of my days. Ultimately, my life is in His hands. My life here is temporary. That’s why I need to put my hope and my trust in God—the eternal One. The psalmist’s words ring true. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God. And that blessing holds true for ninety-four-year-olds too.

Response: LORD God, I thank and praise you for the gift of life. You are worthy of worship. I commit to worshipping you every day for the rest of my life. Thank you for eternal life through Jesus. Amen.

Your Turn: Will you praise the LORD for all of your life? Are you ready to make that commitment?