By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb;
My praise is continually of You. Ps 71:6
What a picture of His faithfulness in our lives. He was the one making our birth possible and He was there with us from that point forward. He was the one who sustained us. The Hebrew word for sustain has the feeling of holding up when someone or something is leaning into you. The English word means to be upheld from underneath, to lift up, to carry, to keep from falling.
He holds us up when in our weakness we go limp and fall.
How many times do we feel that our lives have gone limp? That we are falling and fearful that there is no one to catch us? Years ago, one of my disciplers, Evie, used to say that faith was walking out so far out on a tree limb that if it broke you couldn’t make it back to the trunk, but had to trust that God would catch you. This faith she was talking about was the picture from OUR side of what God was doing from HIS side: sustaining us.
This is telling us that no matter how we feel, no matter what things might look like to us, God is always there, holding us up in our weakness. And this Psalm continues to instruct us in our response.
My praise is continually of you!
Continually, that is an interesting word. In the Hebrew it implies stretching on perpetually, never ending. How insightful! It isn’t just praising in the fun, easy and happy times. It means that our praise of God is to be for always: in hard times, in fear, in loneliness, in pain, in sorrow.
How in the world can we praise Him in those times?
- How can we praise Him when He seems far away?
- How can we praise Him when we are suffering?
- How can we praise Him when we are depressed?
- How can we praise Him when we feel empty?
We can praise Him in the hard times because He holds us in those times.
That old poem Footprints has it spot on. In the hard times of our lives, when we look back and see the footprints in the sand of life and see only one set, it is because He was carrying us…He was sustaining us from our mother’s womb.
Dear one, are you struggling in the darkness of your mind or body today? Are you feeling that everything is going wrong? Are you feeling that you are too weak to continue on today and need some help?
Know this: He is there and He is holding you! His strength is radiating into you and his might is holding you faithfully. Are you praising Him, even when you cannot see or feel His presence? Are you praising Him for His promise to never let us go, regardless of what our limited temporal senses tell us? Are you praising Him continually?
Let’s live in the spiritual reality of His love and care for us and let our praise sing out far and wide as He sustains us forever!