|Glenn and I near the cemetery by the Church of the Holy Rood|
In Deuteronomy 5:33, we read: "You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess." God's blessings to His children extend into old age when they walk with Him. He shows them His favor and goodness. We can conclude that old age is actually a blessing from God for a life well lived. In reality, old age is part of God's purpose for a normal life. When we look at David and even Job, both of them died, according to God's Word, at a ripe old age (I Chronicles 29:26 and Job 42:17). No one would say that David or Job had life easy. However, their lives were marked by having a heart for God. This should also be our goal as we age in grace.
|Big Ben in London - A reminder that all time|
is in God's hands
Other blessings that come with growing older include having greater wisdom from walking with the Lord as well as life experience and the ability to counsel younger men and women. Churches miss so many opportunities when they overlook the wise guidance of senior members. Certainly, older members cannot do as much physically as they used to but they can contribute in many other ways especially in the area of giving sound advice in matters of spiritual importance. Learning at the feet of a grandfather or grandmother in the faith can help younger members to grow and mature. If we are an older member of a church, we also have to make ourselves available to serve. There is no such thing as retirement in the kingdom of God. We miss blessings when we fail to be involved!
While there are blessings to growing older, there are also difficulties. We may have a lower income, poor health, or other heartaches as we grow older, but even with these challenges we can lean on the Bible to find solace at hard times. One of my favorite verses is found in Isaiah 46:3-4: "Listen to Me, house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been sustained from the womb, carried along since birth. I will be the same until [your] old age, and I will bear [you] up when you turn gray. I have made [you], and I will carry [you]; I will bear and save [you]." Our heavenly Father abides with us and never leaves us. His presence is even sweeter as we age for we are drawing near the time when we shall see Him face to face.
|Window in the Church of the Holy Ghost|
For those of my readers who are much younger and have not approached the older years, the Bible has some words of wisdom for you regarding your elders whether family or friends. It must be remembered that older people deserve kindness and respect according to the Word of God. I Timothy 5:1-2 reads: "Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and with all propriety..." Then, in Leviticus 19:32, we read: "you are to rise in the presence of the elderly and honor the old...I am the Lord." Finally, we read in Proverbs 23:22: "Listen to your father who gave you life, and don't despise your mother when she is old." These are the guidelines for interacting with the older generation. Too often, I do not witness this type of relationship between younger and older members of our society. There is so much to learn from those who have traveled farther down the road than we have. Therefore, be wise and if you want a long life, respect your elders and especially your own parents.
Each one of us will grow old one day. Our sight will dim, our hearing will not be as sharp and we will have aches and pains in places we didn't know existed. However, the blessings of a long life lived in the power and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ can be rich and full. There is always some means of serving others and the Lord even when we have limitations due to illness. We can always pray, we can call others, we can write letters of encouragement and we can teach our family how to live in Christ until we draw our last breath. May we, who are growing older, age in and with grace that our lives will reflect God's glory until He takes us home with Him. Selah!
I welcome your thoughts and comments. These words of encouragement are a blessing to others who read. Please feel free to leave your thoughts.