Lord, you have been our dwelling-place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn us back to dust, and say, ‘Turn back, you mortals.’
For a thousand years in your sight
are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.
You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning;
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are consumed by your anger;
by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
our years come to an end like a sigh.
The days of our life are seventy years,
or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger?
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due to you.
So teach us to count our days
that we may gain a wise heart.
Turn, O Lord! How long?
Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands!
"Our God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home."
Isaac Watts wrote these words to his beloved hymn in 1719 while paraphrasing Psalm 90. In it, he speaks of the incredible depth and breadth of God's presence in our lives. Psalm 90 reminds us that "a thousand years are like yesterday" in God's sight. I don't know about you, but that's a humbling thought for me! How many times do I fret and worry about so many small things that, in the grand scheme of things, are truly inconsequential in the larger plan that God plans for humanity!
During this season of Advent, I remember that I am a very small but significant part of God's work in this world. I am a small part because I am but a grain of dust in the larger creation. I am a significant part because God calls me child and God charges me to be a disciple of the one Living Lord. How blessed is our God that we are called to be a part of such a cosmic plan for hope, peace, joy, and love!
My prayer for you this day is that you would be reminded that the God that holds you and protects you each and every day is the same God that calls you beloved and that has been your help in ages past. And just as God has been our help in ages past, so too will God be our help in the exciting future that we will find in the birth of God's son, Jesus Christ!
Prayer of the Day:
O God, my help in ages past,
be with me this day as I prepare for all that is before me.
Help me to remember what is important,
that I am your child and you are my God. Amen.