Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.”
There was a time, a few years ago now when I made a concerted effort to slow down the greying process. Every time I saw a grey hair, I’d pluck it out! Then one hair turned into three, and three into 9, and before I knew it I had lost the battle.
When I was younger, I wanted to look older but once I started to get older I wasn’t quite sure it was a good idea. Now I think to myself, what’s the use, who am I trying to impress anyway?
I’ve learned a lot from my experiences, grown through my mistakes, and realize I have a lot left to go….at least in the area of wisdom. Wisdom is an attribute I’ve been praying about since I was 14 years old. I remember reading about the value of wisdom in the Bible and thought it would be a good idea to start praying about that now. Here I am 37 years later and the prayer remains the same, but I wonder, would I be any different now if I hadn’t prayed those prayers….
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
I have learned one thing these past 37 years, God answers prayer.
If seen far too many instances of answered prayer in my life and listened to too many instances in other’s lives to think otherwise. From miraculous healing, to God meeting a need, the times of God’s intervention are too numerous to count.
My mother-in-law just loves birds. She cared for doves for years and could tell the smallest changes in their behavior by the sounds they made. Now, it’s the wild birds at her feeders that gives her joy each morning. Why are birds a common fixation among older adults? I have a theory but it may seem a bit ridiculous—-I think the older we get, the more we appreciate the small things in God’s creation.
There is a strange phenomenon in the human race that I’ve observed in our elderly—we tend to revert back to our adolescent selves the older we get. Kids love the little details of life, I remember spending my entire day watching a caterpillar crawl along a limb or observing an ant carry it’s meal to the nest. As we grow older, we seem to get busier and we lose some of the details of life’s beauty.
**We start out helpless as infants, in adolescence we progress into simpleness with lot’s of faith, we transition into puberty and adulthood which drives us into busyness and responsibility, we then descend into old age in wisdom and we grow simple once more, until we are helpless and feeble. **
Daniel 2:21 “He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and establishes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”
In my experience in health care, I’ve had the privilege of conversing with many of our grandma’s and grandpa’s in the region. I love to hear their stories of how they met their spouse or what happened in the war, I’ve heard some incredibly sad tales of life and witnessed sweet people who had sordid pasts. Those days of old were long ago and many times they look back in regret to their days of youth and misguided enthusiasm.
How quickly life goes by.
Psalm 78:39 “He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.”
The stories I hear drift off into a reminiscing thoughts of, “it just seems like yesterday when that occurred”. This thought is then followed up with “Don’t get old”, which I realize has more of a connotation in spirit rather than in letter.
I have often thought how I envy these sages of society, not just because of the wisdom they had gleaned through the years but the fact that they are much closer to transitioning in life than I am.
I long for Heaven. I long to be in the presence of God’s people, saints of old who went before me and worship at the feet of Jesus. I long to shed this flesh of corruption and put on the mantle of eternal joy. The older I get, the more I desire that place, just over the horizon, and I begin to realize it’s closer than I ever knew.
Death comes much easier than one might realize. Cut off oxygen to your brain for even a few seconds, and you pass out. Keep the brain deprived of oxygen for more the 10 minutes and it starts to die. We are seconds from death and under the right circumstances, it can happen without any notion that it was coming. Currently in the world, an average of 150 thousand people die every day. Whether it is in old age or trauma from an accident, sickness or from disease, there are numerous ways our lives can end.
The good news—-our lives are in God’s hands.
John 10:27-30 “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
You see, even though our bodies will die, we still will never perish. Those who have entrusted their future into Jesus’ hands, have just that….a Future.
To those who have rejected the grace of God as given by the Lamb of God, there remains no sacrifice for sin, but an expectation of coming judgement. The reality of the brevity of life and the ramifications of being under God’s wrath should give everyone pause to consider….What do I believe and am I really serious about my faith?
The aged know all too well of how important it is to live life while you have it. Live for something worthwhile and not just the endless struggle for pleasure or entertainment.
Live for Jesus, love Him by loving others and you will see His Spirit working through you for His glory. You will leave a legacy of faith that spans generations of time and the joyful expectation of hearing….”Well done”.