I’ve heard it said that aging isn’t for sissies or wimps. Unfortunately, too many people become unnecessarily sidelined by age just when life should be getting grand. In truth, your greatest days can still be ahead instead of in the rearview mirror.
As a Christian, this is particularly true, and scripture is full of accounts of God using and working through people of advancing age.
Psalm 92:13-15 states, “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age. They shall be fresh and flourishing to declare that the Lord is upright. He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”
I recently ran across an interesting quote from Italian actress Sophia Loren, who said, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study back in 2018 reporting that the most productive age in human life is a lot older than you might think. The article said that an extensive study in the USA found:
- The most productive age in human life is between 60 and 70 years of age;
- The second most productive stage of the human being is 70-80 years old; and
- The third most productive stage is from 50 to 60.
The article further pointed out the average age of:
- Nobel Prize winners is 62;
- Presidents of prominent companies is 63; and
- Pastors of the 100 largest churches is 71.
In the words of Mark Twain, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” British writer and theologian CS Lewis echoed that sentiment when he said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
Consider some of the men and women God has used for His splendid purposes.
Exodus 7:6-7 says, “Then Moses and Aaron did so; just as the Lord commanded them, so they did. And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.”
Women like Sarah and Anna were also used of God, despite their advancing age. Sarah, who was 90 years old when God sent word she would bear a child, laughed at the idea; however, as prophesied, she gave birth to Isaac and nursed him herself. This faithful woman of God became mother to the line of descendants who became the 12 tribes is Israel. Among her lineage – Jesus Christ himself.
No matter what we think of the limitations of age, Sarah’s story reminds us that all things are possible with God. His plans for your life trump everything, and He isn’t through with you yet.
Consider Anna – the prophetess who bore witness to Christ when she was greater than 100 years old. Her account is found in Luke 2:36-38, which reads, “Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
So, this woman – who was probably 14 when she married and lived with her husband for 7 years before is death – had been a widow for 84. That means she was likely about 105 years old (described as great age). Imagine, this centenarian widow who spent her days fasting and praying in the temple was the one chosen by God to recognize this young child as the promised Savior and begin proclaiming redemption throughout Jerusalem years before His public ministry.
Take heed of these words from Proverbs 16:31, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory if it is found in the way of righteousness.”
While the years of life tick by in what most often seems to be way too swiftly, I find great comfort in these words found in Psalm 71:18, “Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.”
We have been called to declare God before this generation and those to come, and we have much work to do. God isn’t through with us yet. In fact, we have mighty works to accomplish before we are done, so it is time to get busy, no matter what your age.
In his well-known poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas wrote:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
As we go about our way today, I leave you with these words from Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Now go forth, seize the time, and conquer all your remaining days – you have mighty works to accomplish, no matter your age.
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