The blessing of getting older

Church bulletin:

I caught a glimpse of a woman being interviewed on TV the other day – I assume an actress. While I only saw the interview for a moment, a comment she made stuck with me – “I am looking forward to getting older.” At a guess I would say she was a bit further down the track than me – maybe 60. I thought to myself, I haven’t heard that before, yet it’s exactly how I feel. I don’t relish the problems associated with getting older, but I would not want to go back 30 or 40 years in age. I am content with where I am in life, I enjoy the benefits which come to those who have clocked the half century, and I am happy to be closer to the end than the beginning.

Every stage in life has its advantages and disadvantages. It would seem, however, that for many people the effects of getting older are to be avoided at all costs, which is very difficult to achieve. Copious amounts of effort and money are spent trying to keep the ravages of time at bay or trying to claw back long-lost years. We are familiar with expressions such as mid-life crisis (there is probably latter-life crisis as well), mutton dressed as lamb, etc. – people wanting to look and behave in a way not becoming of their age. They don’t impress anyone, only embarrass themselves and their loved ones.

The scriptures take an entirely different view. The riper years are the blessing of God. Job 12:12, Wisdom is with aged men, and with length of days, understanding. Psalm 92:13-15, “Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. (14) They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, (15) To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Titus 2:3-5, the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behaviour, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things(4) that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, (5) to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

It is not all gloom and doom when balding heads, grey hair, and wrinkles intrude into our lives.

* With age comes usefulness – ideally, getting older brings life experience, wisdom, and opportunity. This means there is a lot to offer those young in years and young in faith. Older people should be an asset in every church.

* With age comes stability – the young can be restless, many challenges and decisions before them, they want to prove themselves, leave their mark, find their place, etc. It’s not that older people don’t have aspirations, but with much living comes maturity and grounding. The pitfalls of youth have been left behind.

* With age comes dignity – Prov 16:31, The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness.” There is dignity with age if it is accompanied by righteousness – a life lived in communion with God, bearing the corresponding fruit. There is no dignity growing older if it means growing sour and irritable.

* With age comes anticipation – the long journey is drawing to a close. Living faithfully for Christ does not lead to regret, but the certain hope that better things are not far away.

If you are closer to 100 than 0, thank God for the years He has blessed you with. Don’t be discouraged by getting older, rejoice in your salvation and what awaits. Use your time to serve the Lord and pray for opportunities. Who knows, there may yet be some wonderfully blessed chapters still to be opened.