Among the hardest things I’ve been through is watching my heroes age. People who taught me to do things that required skill, strength, and energy, with age, slowly become less and less capable of the very things they excelled at, until finally they are incapable at all. I’ve watched with sadness, not only their spirits break through those inabilities, but also their spirits break from the memories of them being able to.
Even though I am always happy to lend my arm, a shoulder, or hand to help them in this weak state, I’m sad that I actually need to… and they can’t function if someone doesn’t.
Eventually we all succumb to this fate, this need, in fact even when we are young. Each of us, from time to time, find ourselves weak, tired, and weary, and will at some point need the strength and support of someone else more able bodied.
The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. Psalm 145:14. KJV
Here in verse 14 the Psalmist describes a perfect solution to those who find themselves in need. First, he describes help in the form of being a solid and sturdy support that one can lean on when they are weak and cannot stand on their own. Without that solid support, we would surely fall, but the LORD can be trusted to prevent it. Other support cannot be guaranteed to handle the weight and steadiness, but the Lord, He does not, cannot waver. He is literally, “solid as a Rock!”
Picturing this in my mind, I was reminded of a dinner with a friend who was blind, being led by his spouse who was frail into a restaurant. Between the two of them they managed, but not without significant toe stubbing, door collisions, and curb tripping. That kind of support, but less than perfect. The Lord’s support is perfect and available when we need it.
Verse 14 also describes another, what I believe to be a truly physical ailment, when he says the Lord “raiseth up all those that be bowed down.” A literal translation means to be bent or bowed, which I truly think is the ailment many older people in particular suffer from. It could also be someone who is disabled, but it would seem to indicate that God has a special care in lifting up or raising up ALL those who are “bent over.”
Whether our weakness comes from fatigue or sickness, or from age itself, the Psalmist gives us a wonderful promise of the Lord’s solid and stable strength, and His special care in raising us up when we find ourselves weak and in need. What a wonderful picture of our God… forsaking none!
Dr. Ronald J. Barnes, Jr.
June 6, 2023