SINCE MY YOUTH………Read Psalm 71

Whoever wrote Psalm 71, certainly said it better than I ever could.  But so much of what is written in this psalm could have been written by me.  Let me explain myself, if I can!  To me it is such a personal psalm.  Expresses my struggles in life, my coming to the Lord as a young teen and even some of my goals now as I approach the latter part of my life.    My struggles in life began at age 2.  In Jersey City, New Jersey, the city of my birth where I also contracted polio and spent a period of time in the Margaret Hague Hospital in the Sister Kenny Polio Ward,  was where I can identify the beginnings of fears and insecurities and what moderns call angst.  My parents had moved to the suburbs just days after I caught the polio bug (drinking out of a water glass at our neighbor’s house–why I am always the 1st to drink out of a common cup for communion or just plain pass it by!).  My sister says I showed no interest in eating ice cream.  I guess a sure sign of dreaded disease in our family!  Anyway,off to isolation back in Jersey City at that Medical Center.  The home I was used to–gone.  The family who cared for me–gone.  Somewhere in my young psyche, I learned that life at any moment can and will shake you out the door into an unknown world of crying children, hot water packs, mean-looking nurses,endless exercise routines,  shrill  sounds and very dark rooms at night.  Like it says in verse 2 of Psalm 71–‘Rescue me and deliver me…’  I thank God…and that Australian nurse Sister Kenny and my mother who for years pushed me to exercise my legs… that I healed well, so that there are very few observable residues of polio in my body.  Moving on… when I was 16, I remember hearing that God loved me and wanted to be in my life by simply accepting His gift of Jesus Christ into my life.  He died for me and rose to new life offering the same to all who believe in Him.   One night, I can’t give you the exact day or month, there in my tiny bedroom, I just opened  my heart and life to Jesus.  I didn’t know much if anything about the Bible or theology or right living or anything else that others think you must know to be a believer. Zippity-do-dah for me!  I knew I needed Him and I believed He wanted me in His life. So, a life-long journey began for me that night.  And now I’m just perfect–yeah, right?!!  Far, far, far…from it, at best!  Just an old sinner, saved by grace. That’s me! It’s not about me but about Jesus…by His mercy and love for me…and you!  That’s good news, right?  As this psalm says in verse 5–‘for you have been my hope…my confidence since my youth.’ Here’s  a personal example.  In those young years in public school, I was an okay student, fair to  middling.  That was before Christ.  BC–actually that was my grade point average in middle and high school!  B’s and C’s.   Until I became a Christian.  Miraculously, I got straight A’s thereafter.  That’s right.  You read it.  Getting straight A’s in my senior year allowed me to bypass all my finals as that was our high school’s reward for avoiding ‘senior slump’.  Great grades…no finals!  Jesus in my life…did something that no physical therapy, as good as that was for me, could ever do.  Gave me an inner confidence, an acceptance from Him.  But this new inner feeling was like that mustard seed which was planted and cared for, and took months and months and years and years to grow.  Still growing…for God’s not done with me yet.  And He’s not done with you either.  You could give your own story.  You can have that same confidence in the Lord…to help you, to rescue you, to deliver you from whatever darkness lurks in your shadows.  Ask for His help…He is never far away.  Never, ever…More next time.

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