In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.
Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
They say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him.”
Do not be far from me, my God;
come quickly, God, to help me.
May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
you who have done great things.
Who is like you, God?
Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more.
I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I whom you have delivered.
My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
have been put to shame and confusion.
- Psalm 71:1-24
At the moment that I am writing this, I am nervously awaiting two telephone calls at about the time I would be arriving home after a hard day’s work – back when I did that kind of thing.
Psalm 71, above in its entirety, is a psalm and prayer for the aged believer. There is no attribution in the text, but some commentaries, including Matthew Henry, think that king David wrote the psalm in his latter years, maybe during Absalom’s rebellion. In any case, I started to read the psalm as I was searching for the right words about how I felt right now. I figured I could quote a few verses, but then maybe the first half, but like a novel that you cannot put down, I could not stop copying this psalm. It said what was going on within me without telling any details.
At the time of this writing, I am awaiting my wife’s return to Pittsburgh airport. She left five days ago on her own to go to Houston, TX to a wedding. She labeled the trip as her last time seeing her sisters in this life. I intend on moving us to Tennessee, cutting the travel distance in half, but the kidney dialysis has us on a short tether. My wife knows that I get bored easily and I get emotionally and physically drained when in a large crowd. So, she uses me as her wet blanket. I wanted her to go alone, so that she could party with her sisters until her body told her to stop, and not stop early to attend to my needs or even desires.
I had not gone a third of the way home from the airport before I regretted making that decision. And the airport is quite close to our home. When the wheelchair transportation person cleared her through security, I ran to the car and still paid $2 for parking. I had dropped her up front and then got a nearby handicap parking place and ran to meet her, okay hobbled quickly. She was not where she should have been. I retraced steps forward and backward and her cellphone was off. She was lost. As I approached security to make an announcement, my phone rang. She said she called out, but I never heard her.
Then upon getting to the gates, she had a headache and the nice lady pushed her to the pharmacy where my wife bought some acetaminophen, the only pain killer she is allowed to take. I called her just as she got to the gate. She immediately hung up on me because she had dropped something along the way. It turned out that after paying at the pharmacy she placed her credit card in a zip lock bag along with every form of ID that she has and her boarding passes. She thought she had slid the plastic bag into her carry-on bag, but she missed, and it fell to the floor. She had already dismissed the wheelchair pushing lady, so she grabbed her cane and tried to walk back to the pharmacy, only to find someone running toward her with all her ID intact, and the cash she had for the trip, all in one plastic bag.
She made it to Houston with no further problems. She had a wonderful time but had to threaten a lawsuit against the dialysis center, because they arbitrarily shifted her appointment from a morning slot to a slot for dialysis at the same time as the wedding. She made enough noise to get them to move her back up to a morning slot. I think the supervising nurse wanted overtime pay. They had available machines all day long and enough technicians. But Satan tries to rob us of our Joy at such times.
But her flight home was delayed due to thick fog in Houston. They cancelled her flight to Atlanta and put her on a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, arriving home three hours late. She was waiting impatiently and called me at the time that the Fort Lauderdale flight was to take off, a delayed takeoff, and they had not started boarding. The line at the counter was long. She knew that she would miss her connecting flight to Pittsburgh, but she was tired and could not stand in line. I asked her if the airline would arrange for kidney dialysis, since she would miss her flight. She had forgotten about that entirely. She hung up and got into the line to complain.
That is the last that I have heard from her. She must have gotten on the plane and turned off her phone. Her plane is due to arrive in Florida about the same time her flight to Pittsburgh should be getting ready to land in Pittsburgh. I have checked flights. There is only one option that can get her today, from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando and then to Pittsburgh near midnight.
The first of my awaited phone calls is from her to tell me on what flight she will be on, but with the connection so tight in Fort Lauderdale, she may forget to call me.
Oh, yes, there is another phone call. Two weeks ago, our son said that he needed us to ship the old car to him immediately. There is a saying that poor prior planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part, but … Family!!!!
So I researched the move, called a broker and had a truck guaranteed within a week. To my son, that was not satisfactory, but I demanded that he think of alternatives. A week later, no truck arrived. I cancelled the contract, and I went back on the internet. This time, I found a trucking company. Brokers give you a low bid and then hope that a car hauler has already made enough money with the cars already on the truck and yours can get on for half price. Truckers reserve you a place on a specific truck. And that truck was supposed to be here today, and it is now near the end of the day without a phone call.
Have I been ripped off a second time? Has Satan attacked me yet again, trying to rob me of the faith that I have in God?
I trust God. I trust that I will add another paragraph to this post before it is scheduled to say, “This is how everything turned out wonderfully.”
I have that much faith in God, but my faith in my fellow humans is so bad that my stomach is flipping faster than all the gymnasts in the Olympics simultaneously.
THIS SPACE RESERVED FOR AN UPDATE – A GOOD NEWS UPDATE!!!
My wife did go to Fort Lauderdale. Because of all the airline screw ups, they held the flight so that my wife could make her connection. When she told them she was on kidney dialysis, they treated her better than they would a normal traveler. She asked to turn on her phone to let me know when to go to the airport, and she was told not to do so, because they were holding up the flight just for her and they wanted no further delays. She only got home four hours later than scheduled and had to wait at baggage claim until I could get there. The airline refused to tell me what was going on, but at the same time, she was treated like a princess.
As of our bedtime, the truck had not yet arrived to pick up the car. A week later, the car was picked up by a contracted hauler. From what I was told, the trucking company’s truck broke down. It seems what they did not admit was they brokered the cars onto two smaller trucks. All three vehicles on the truck that came to our home were going to the Memphis, TN area, and I had no idea what happened to the other 3-4 vehicles that were supposed to be on the original hauler.
But what was a mind-bender for the bad and the good, the car was in tip-top working order, having been recently tuned and overhauled. But the vehicle would not crank, as if the battery (a brand new and expensive battery) was dead. I had cranked the car and driven it a dozen times within the past week as I drove it around to keep the fluids from settling. Only when it had to move did it not move at all. We did a lot of praying and then with the truck driver giving it a jump from a jump box, it cranked. A bad battery or prayer? Since I had already tried to jump it from my other vehicle using jumper cables, I am leaning toward the prayer. They replaced the battery and have had no problems since.
God is Good and sometimes just barely on time.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.