“The Lord Still Lives in This Old House” was written around 30 years ago by a man named Bill Burns. It is a testimony song, expressing gratitude to the Lord for His abiding presence, even in old age, and throughout the trials of life.
I am almost 70 years old. I have followed Jesus since I was a young boy. He has been good, loving, and faithful to me throughout my life. Though I have failed Him many times, “My Redeemer is Faithful and True.” (Steven Curtis Chapman song) As have all who may read this, I have walked through valleys, deep waters, faced trials and heartaches. It’s part of our humanity.
Since around 2006 my health has declined, first with Sleep Apnea (C-Pap machine since 2008), and then I was diagnosed in 2015 with Intracranial Hypotension, a Cerebrospinal Fluid leak which manifests itself in headaches, balance issues, erratic, almost spastic walking, stupor, lethargy, and slurred speech. Resting helps a lot, but I can’t come close to doing what I used to do.
The Lord saw fit to take our youngest grandson home to Heaven in November 2019, after 14 months of major heart and lung issues. How we miss that little fellow! This was less than five years after David’s first wife, Bethany Atwood Lytle, died of cancer.
Many dear ones have left us, or are declining in health and nearing the day of their departure.
At least every week, someone we know has gone on or is facing catastrophic illness. It can happen at any age, but it seems much more frequent when you are older.
Tennessee tornadoes: the uncertainty of life.
Those of us in Nashville and Middle Tennessee who either directly experienced the destructive impact of the tornado, or were in close proximity, are still seeing the effects of that.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease)
And now, a pandemic that has rocked our world and created a new normal of social distancing, isolation, and self-quarantine. Unprecedented in our lifetimes.
And all of this is happening as I (and many others) continue to move inexorably on life’s journey toward our threescore and ten (or if, by reason of strength we reach 80 (or beyond). (Psalm 90) As somebody said, “Growing old is not for wimps!”
The song I referenced rejoices that God still lives “in this old house,” which speaks of the human body being the earthly residence of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19-20). One day, it will be “dissolved”, but “I’d trade it for a finer one that would not pass away.” A new body awaits the believer. (I Corinthians 15, I Thessalonians 4, Philippians 3:20-21)
“Peace,” and “fellowship” characterize the Lord’s residence in our lives, even though “snow upon the rooftop,” and “hinges near wore out,” denote the physical aging that catches up with us all. (read Ecclesiastes 12, which so powerfully, poignantly, and poetically describes the process of human aging and death.
The last verse of the song speaks of God’s faithfulness. Because of our unfaithfulness and inconsistency, there were times He could have left, just “walked away.” But He never did (Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5), and He never will!
The chorus touches my heart, “to Him it’s just a dwelling place where He kept my hand in His, to me, a home away from home, that’s all it really is, it sure ain’t fine and fancy and all I can boast about if after all these years the Lord still lives in this old house. My temporary home…with an eternal one to come.
If this earthly tabernacle should be dissolved today I'd trade it for a finer one, that would not pass away. But till the day arrives when it's time for moving out Tis such sweet peace to know the Lord still lives in this old house. The sweetest fellowship I've known has fortified these walls And peace has reigned since he's been walking up and down these halls. with snow upon the rooftop now and these hinges near worn out It's such a joy to know the Lord still lives in this old house. To him it's been a dwelling place where he kept my hand in his To me a home away from home is all it really is. It sure ain't fine and fancy and all I can boast about Is after all these years the Lord still lives in this old house. Now there were times he had the right, just to up and move away And there were times and days I knew it took God's amazing grace to stay. But he never left this old building once, that's why I can sing and shout Cause after all these years the Lord still lives in this old house. To him it's been a dwelling place where he kept my hand in his To me a home away from home, is all it really is. It sure ain't fine and fancy and all I can boast about Is after all these years the Lord still lives in this old house.
He is with us now (Matthew 28:19, Hebrews 13:5)! We will be with Him forever (I Thessalonians 4:17-18)!