And now in my old age, don’t set me aside, don’t abandon me when my strength is failing. Psalm 71:9 NLT
As most senior adults, I don’t think of myself as “old”. For you younger ones, that probably comes as a surprise. Most of us think of ourselves as a bit vintage–getting better with age! But even though the number goes up, our view of ourselves stays mostly the same. Until–one day we realize we can’t do quite what we used to do. Until–we discover aches where there did not used to be aches. Until–we catch a glimpse of ourselves in a mirror and notice sags, bags along with crinkles and wrinkles. Then the passing of time seems to catch up and we realize that there is no going back to our former selves.
Then the enemy of our souls seeks to establish a foothold. His lies about inadequacy, weakness and invisibility try to invade our souls. But, these are lies. Our wonderful God sees us at every age. He understands us, even when we don’t understand ourselves. The great news is that He desires to use us at every stage of our life. Even though our “outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day. Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. There is, if we let it, a continued renewing of our inward man by the work of the Holy Spirit. I have experienced it myself! I am much more patient on so many levels than I used to be. I have a greater trust in God’s promises–especially that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) I can see growth in trusting God’s work in others–it isn’t my job, but His! But there is still room to grow, for sure. But I would not want to relive my younger life!
The Bible is full of scriptures to encourage us in our old age.
He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. Ruth 4:15
I will still be carrying you when you are old. Your hair will turn gray, and I will still carry you. I made you and I will carry you to safety. Isaiah 46:4
Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “the Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him. Psalm 92:12
As with anything, it depends on our perspective. No matter our age, if we succumb to the lies, we will fall into depression, complaining and truly becoming grumpy old people even when we are young! It is my heart to be vital and green, producing fruit as I become even more senior. Pastor Reshaun Hurley spoke such an encouraging word on Mother’s Day. That word was Legacy. Each of us leaves one, the question is: what kind?
It breaks my heart to find “older” saints drop out of the active Christian life they used to encourage. No matter how our outward man may change, we can still pray, encourage and seek Him. I want to encourage us all, when we find a troublesome spot in our culture, do not complain, but pray. Ask God for His solutions to be revealed to those who can make changes. Keep an attitude of gratitude, for what you can do, not focusing on on what you can’t. Walk closely with Jesus, listening to Him and obeying Him. That is the best legacy we can leave for our families, friends and His kingdom. Do not grow weary in well doing. Find ways to help and encourage those around you. Forgive yourself when past regrets arise in your thoughts. We have today as a gift, let’s use it. Do not let “old age” become a curse, God has seen fit to keep you here for a purpose! Find it, live it and accomplish it!
Father, I thank you for Your promise that You will not set us aside in our old age, but You will hold us steady as we choose to keep walking in Your ways. I thank You, that even if our natural eyes and ears grow dim, we can still see and hear with Your Spirit. Teach us, even in our old age, to continue numbering our days. We silence the lies that Satan roars in their ears that they are useless or not as important to You. Help those, in their youth, to honor, respect and learn from older saints, so it will be well with them. In Jesus’ Name, amen.