Another word I listen for in reading Psalms is “generations.” Maybe it’s because of my cancer, but women especially have a sense of building character and truth into their children, trusting that goodness, godliness, will go on through their lives.
But men also have a sense of legacy. Often it is in the area of providing for their family. They desire to build empires, or at least possessions, an inheritance to give to their children. They desire to teach their children how to provide for themselves and their families, how to be successful.
Psalms 90 starts out with…
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Days come and days go, each one building on the last, each one uniquely its own. But the Lord is consistent in his character each day. He is our dwelling place, the place we come home to, rest in, rely on. He’s not just home for us, but for all our generations.
I think that’s important to teach our children, that God isn’t who we visit on Sundays, but God is who we rest in daily.
God is home.
I remember when one of our children wandered from the Lord. They wanted to figure out for themselves where they wanted to place their faith. When we would get together for lunch occasionally, I would ask, “How are you and the Lord doing?”
After months of “Oh, Mom…” replies and getting pushed away, I was surprised one day with a “I really miss him…”
He was missed as a dwelling place, a home, where there was rest, rejuvenation, strength.
Anyway, that was a rabbit trail – what I really wanted to talk about is the last verse…
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands upon us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands!
There is longing in all of us that what we do will last beyond ourselves; that all the mothering we do will go on in our children’s character; that the firm financial base we build will not be wasted.
So much of what we do doesn’t last. The dishes get dirty. Bills come due. We work and then do it again the next day. Stock markets come and go. Cars break down. People die.
The hope of life is that something will last; something will matter. Maybe it will be our reputation others will remember. Maybe it will be memories our grandchildren have. Maybe it will be something we have written. Maybe it will be something we handmade, or something our children were able to buy, because we gave it to them.
We’re powerless to make things endure. We are powerless to influence how people remember us once we are gone.
We only have today.
So we pray to the Lord to make this day meaningful, memorable, to truly “establish the work of our hands.”