All Day Long

Psalm 71
David A. Davis
January 31, 2016

I put my trust in you, God. I’m going to put my trust in you. I trust you, God. Help me to never forget your presence or to confuse my sense of being far away from you with your absence in my life. With the very core of your being, your righteousness and your steadfast love, keep hold of me, pick me up, never let me go. Part of who you are is to always hold me close. Turn your ear this way, Creator of heaven and earth. I’m down here. I’m over here. I’m right here. Don’t you just leave me here. Wrap your arms around me and hold me forever, Lord. Be for me a rock-solid shelter of strength. Be the one I can lean on, stand on, depend on. Always. That’s who you are, Lord. Not just my safe place. Not just my port in the storm. Not just my home base. You are my strength. My comfort. My shield. My protection. All day long, God. All day long. All day long.

It’s not easy. It’s never easy. Trying to live in the world, trying to live like you want me to live, like you expect me live. There’s so much hatred, so much cruelty, so much meanness and selfishness. I worry about it all rubbing off on me. I worry about wickedness getting its hands on me. Spare me from it, Holy One! Sin is so creepy, so creeping, it so easily works its way into my life, takes over my life, runs my life. I don’t want it like that. I don’t like that. I want you to come first. I want you to capture my attention. I want to think about you. Like when I was a child and I couldn’t get to sleep. I didn’t want to have a bad dream. I didn’t like the dark. It was you that helped me get to sleep. Thinking about you made me feel better. I knew it was you who kept me safe. You’ve been the center of my life longer than I can remember. My hope. My trust. It’s always been you. From before I was born. I can’t stop. I can’t help praising you. I can’t stop saying thank you. It’s not just part of who I am. It is who I am. Grateful. Grateful to you. Grateful for you. All day long. All day long, Lord.

There are times in life when people look to others as an example. They look for leaders, role models, faith examples. They yearn to see in someone a sign of strength or to see in someone some glimpse of you, God, or a glimpse of how to live for you. But even that, seeing someone as a witness, a sign, it all comes from you. Not us. Not me. It is you at work in us. If people come to know about you through me, if they see you at work in me, I will shout for joy. I will be full of your praise. Your glory will shine in me from head to toe. But I need you for more than the glory days, God. Don’t just save yourself for the glory days. Don’t just meet me on the mountaintop when things are sweet. How about on the days when I have nothing left, when I’m worn out, when the days are getting the best of me. How about then? Don’t leave me then! You’ve never failed me… yet. Don’t start now. And don’t you dare leave me when my years start to add up. When the season of my life turns to fall and then to winter. I’m going need you then, especially then.

You know how it works, right. Lord, how people talk about you, taunt you, threaten you? It’s even worse when things aren’t going well or you’re feeling down or vulnerable. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is a junior high cafeteria. Make a few mistakes and everybody’s ready to pounce. Show a little weakness and they circle the wagons. Let your body slow or memory fade and they all start talking to you like you’re a child. Let the bad stuff happen in life or in the world and someone is bound to shout, “So where’s your God now!’

On those days, don’t go far from me, Lord. Those days. More like every day. Don’t leave me, Lord. Truth is, you better be quick to help me. Days like that, I don’t want to wait for you. That’s when I’m going need you. And I’m not going lie, I wouldn’t mind a bit if those who talk trash to me were embarrassed a bit. All those naysayers and evil doers nipping at my feet — is just a bit of scorn or disgrace or shame for them in this world too much to ask? I know, I know! I’m just saying. The bad guys don’t always have to win, do they? Some days, some years, some decades it feels like that.

That’s how it feels. That’s how it seems. But I know not to give up. I know to press on. My hope will always be in you. I’m going praise you all the more. And when things are going so well, I’m going praise you even more. I’m going to tell of your wondrous deeds and your righteous acts and your steadfast love and your overflowing mercy and your refreshing grace and your living giving salvation. I know I can never know all that you have done. I can’t keep up. I can’t remember the whole list. But I know you love me and I’m going to keep praising all the mighty things you have done. The mighty deeds of the Lord God. I’m going to lift your name, yours alone. Your righteousness, yours alone. Your power, yours along. I’m going sing. I’m going shout. I’m going live for you alone. All day long, baby. All day long!

It’s what you taught me. It’s how you raised me, Loving, Living God. I learned it all when I was so young. “This Little Light of Mine” and “Jesus Loves Me” and “Rejoice in the Lord Always.” I learned it all so long ago and I am not stopping now. I’m still praising the Lord. So even when the hair turns gray, or the hair falls out, and the hips are artificial and the eyes don’t work as well, and the hearing is done for, and the memory is gone, don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. Because I will be telling the children and the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren about you and how your power and your righteousness creates the very kingdom of heaven. And I’m going to singing “Jesus Loves Me” as long as I have breath.

You have done such great things, O God. The earth, the stars, the planets. Life. Beauty. Love. Covenant. Promise. Commandments. Forgiveness. Resurrection. Eternity. You have done such great things, who else is like you? And you have done such great things for me. I have seen more than my share of trouble, even really big trouble, and yet you pick me up and dust me off. You have brought me out of the very depths of hell and set me back on the way. You led me through the valley of the shadow of death. You have given me laughter after a season of tears. Morning light after a long night of darkness. Over and over again you honor me with the sure and certain knowledge that I am yours. I am your child. I am yours and you love me. You know me by name. Over and over again you comfort me. You heal my heart. You soothe my soul. When nothing else, no one else, can bring me through or lift my burden or lighten my despair, you do. Again and again, You do it all day long. All day long.

As for those who try to get the best of me, those who try to do me in, instead of asking you to heap burning coal on their heads, instead of wishing shame or disgrace on them, I’m just going to tell them about you. I’m going talk about you. I’m going to let the world see me sing.

Because I want my life to be one long song of praise to you for your faithfulness. I can use any instrument around to make a song of praise for you. I want to take all the devices in my life, all the resources you entrust to me, and turn them into a symphony of praise: the work of my hands, my life with family, what I do for a living, my checkbook, how I use my mind, the things I enjoy most, the parts of life I worry about most, I lay it before you and my lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you. The deepest part of my being, that innermost part of me that you saved, that part sings too. My soul sings for you, Mighty God. My soul sings all day long. All day long.

All day long.

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