Read Psalm 71:5-7, 9, 18, 20 5 For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. 6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. 7 I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. 9 Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. 18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. 20 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.

When you walk into a cemetery, you look at a headstone and see someone’s name, date of birth, and date of death. But you see something else, too.

You see a hyphen – and that’s the real story. It represents the trail of someone’s life.

If you are in relationship with Jesus Christ, you are somewhere on that trail. You’re moving along that hyphen. You may be in your twenties and just starting out, or your thirties with an armful of kids and a mortgage that won’t go away. Perhaps you’re at mid-life trying to figure out what’s next. Then again, you might be in your seventies or eighties and already retired. No matter your stage in life, you’re on the trail.

In Psalm 71, David looks back over the pass trail he’s traveled, looks at the present, and looks forward to the future and see all the marks of God’s goodness and care. From the time he was a boy shepherding his father’s flock, he has seen God intervene for him time and time again. It’s very apparent that God has sustained him, and the old king’s heart swells with gratitude.

David is long gone, but like him you’re on a trail with a past, present, and future. God is behind you, forgiving your sins and helping you deal with your past mistakes and shortcomings.

He has also mapped out a future for you. He’s gone ahead and blazed a trail that is full of good works, significance, and fulfillment. You are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), and He is planning to utilize you. Your future is bright because He has ordained your trail.

Here in the present, His hand is upon your life wherever you are. He is sovereign in your life. He has a plan. He has outlined a trail for you, and if you’re smart, you’ll stay on it. If you’re drifted off the trail – or never even started on it – it’s time to put that all behind you. The trail is where you want to be.
-Steve Farrar-

Responding - Am I thankful to God for hyphenating my life?
Following – You might be on a twisting path.

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