But God is always the same

Psalm 102:26-28 [The earth and the heavens] will wear out like old clothing. . . But you are always the same; you will live forever. The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.

I share a birthday with my friend Jim. That’s how I think of it, though actually I’m five days older than he is. Yesterday I had the delight of talking for an hour with his wife Barb (one of the people I most want to be like when I grow up). Just as we were concluding, Jim walked in from work, so I got to talk with him for half an hour as well.

Jim and Barb have been through huge losses and pain in the last months. Without minimizing any of that, they told me how faithful the Lord has been to them. He has given them joy along the way, especially through seeing their children and grandchildren thrive. I left the conversation deeply grateful for friends whose way of doing life is oriented and informed by their absolute faith in God’s unchanging trustworthiness, despite the tough times. Really tough times.

Jim and I, turning 65, are facing into the fact that during this next phase of our lives our bodies will start to wear out. We laughed over the fact that our minds still think we can do everything we used to do, but our energy wears out before our commitments and ambitions do. Here’s what Jim and I both want for our birthdays:

Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock!” Psalm 92:14-15

Jim helping Karis fix up her freshman dorm room at Notre Dame, 2001

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