Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come. (
The day dawns for us and we come kicking and screaming into the world. We experience the morning of youth. Next, we advance into the noonday of strength. Before you know it, we arrive in the afternoon of aging. Nightfall is coming—“life’s setting sun is sinking low, a few more days and I must go,” as the old Gospel song puts it. Then, we are traveling the twilight trail. I am not there yet, but the signs along the road indicate it will not be that far away. You may still be the bright light of early adulthood and think this to be the least of your concerns. So did I. I assure you life’s day will race by.
The Psalmist points to THE PAST and shares his TESTIMONY (
Ps.71:5-8). The twilight trail is a time for remembering
the faithfulness of God. We can imagine
the writer’s eyes filling with tears of gratitude for the goodness and grace of
God he has seen—those tears running down the furrows of his face, gashes plowed
by time. He boldly asserts his hope in
God. The Lord had been the ground of his
trust from youth, and had never failed him.
God had not only been solid ground to stand on, but had been a strong
guard to shelter in—providing stability and security. The twilight trail is a time for singing,
“Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come. ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and
grace will lead me home.”
The writer describes THE PRESENT and speaks of his TRIALS (
Ps.71:9-13). He is weary from warfare—and would like to
lay his armor down—but he finds there are still foes to face. I recall when I was young some aged saints
singing, “When the battle’s over, we shall wear a crown…” yet, while we are
here, the battle is not over. Life is
full of struggles—trials and temptations bringing relentless assault. Like the psalmist, we may feel our will to
fight is waning, and our strength to stand is sagging. It may seem that God has forsaken us when
trials become a torrent as we travel the twilight trail. Our minds may be plagued by demons of despair
and our bodies beset by distress of disease.
We can still call upon the Lord with confidence that He will come to our
The sacred songwriter concludes with THE PROSPECTS and affirms the promise of TRIUMPH (
Ps.71:14-21). His voice does not have the perfect pitch it
did in youth—finding it cracking at times—still, he retains his song of hope
and praise. Traveling the twilight trail
reminds him that his days are few, but since he does not know how many, he will
not waste time worrying about God’s business (how many days He gives), but will
concern himself with his business (how much good he can do). There is strength enough to do all God wants
because He will not enlist us without empowering us. The aged must draw out of the vast well of
experience wisdom to share with a younger generation.
Someday we all come to the twilight trail. Will we look back with rejoicing or regret? Will we stand or stumble in our struggle? Will we finish as a winner or with a whimper?