Psalm 92:14, “They shall bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing”
2 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day”
When you’re young, you really don’t think about growing old because you have other things on your mind that are far more important than age. My beloved, we are all growing older, no matter what our age. Many people are scared or maybe even terrified of the thought of growing old, which is understandable. The passing years do bring a decline of physical strength and endurance, and in some cases serious illness. Yet elderly people have advantages the young don’t enjoy. In fact, the “sunset years” can be the most fulfilling of all.
Author Henry Durbanville wrote, “I feel so sorry for folks who don’t like to grow old. I revel in my years. They enrich me. If God should say to me, ‘I will let you begin over again and you may have your youth back once more,’ I should say, ‘If You do not mind, I prefer to go on growing old.’ I would not exchange the peace of mind, the abiding rest of soul, the measure of wisdom I have gained from the sweet and bitter and perplexing experiences of life.
These are the best years of my life – the sweetest, and the most free from anxious care. The way grows brighter, the birds sing sweeter, the winds blow softer, the sun shines more radiantly than ever before … My ‘outward man’ is perishing, but my ‘inward man’ is being joyously renewed day by day.” We’re all growing older, no matter what our age. So let’s honor God and rejoice in the good things that are ours. Then when we reach that golden plateau, we too will find it to be the best age.
My beloved, you are never too old to serve the Lord. The story has been told regarding Bishop John Reed of Sydney, Australia, who was preaching in Christ Church Cathedral one Sunday morning when a 75-year-old woman named Ethel Hatfield got saved, by trusting Jesus Christ as her Savior. Mrs. Hatfield had attended that Anglican Church for decades, but the message had never gotten through to her until that day. The following day she came to see Bishop Reed and said, “I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited about what happened. I want to do something to serve God with the few years I have left. I was wondering if I could teach Sunday school.
Bishop Reed looked at this 75-year-old, white-haired lady and just couldn’t picture her controlling the rambunctious third or fourth grade kids. So he said, “I’m sorry, but we don’t have an opening in our Sunday school.” Her face fell. Bishop Reed said, “You mean business, don’t you? I don’t know what kind of service God may have for you, but let’s pray.” So they prayed for God to reveal His will for her.
The next day Mrs. Hatfield was out in her yard tending her roses when a Chinese student from Taiwan walked by. He stopped and complimented her on her roses and they began to talk. She thought, “He seems like decent chap; I’ll invite him in for a spot of tea.” So she did and she told him her testimony. He found it an interesting story, so when he had to leave he asked if he could come back and talk further. She said, “Yes, and please bring a friend.”
He came back and brought a friend and she again shared how she had come to put her trust and faith in Jesus Christ after all these years and how Christ had forgiven her sin and given her eternal life. These students came back and brought more friends, who brought even more. Within two weeks, Mr. Hatfield was leading a weekly Bible study with 70 Chinese students in attendance! She led many of them to personal faith in Jesus Christ. That which seemed a hindrance to Mrs. Hatfield’s serving the Lord (her age) God turned into the key to reaching a group of people who respect old age!
God’s way for us to grow old is for us to develop a walk with Him now – a walk that involves a deep personal, experimental knowledge of God, a walk that includes the habits of trust, praise, and hope, and a walk that involves a lifestyle of ministry for God. Then, as long as we have life and breath, we can show and tell and sing of the greatness of our God to the next generation.
Age is a matter of mind; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter