Summary: Old age is sure to come of which the Word of God gives us guidance on how to age under God’s grace.
The Elderly’s Proclamation
Scriptural Truths to Growing Old by the Grace of God
In the Spokesman Review was an article titled, Pinging Like Crazy, “Man is like an automobile. As it gets older, the differential starts slipping, and the u-joints get worn, causing the drive shaft to go bad. The transmission won't go into high gear and sometimes has difficulty getting out of low. The cylinders get worn and lose compression, making it hard to climb the slightest incline. When it is climbing, the tappets clatter and ping to the point where one wonders if the old bus will make it to the top. The carburetor gets fouled with pollutants and other matter, making it hard to get started in the morning. It is hard to keep the radiator filled because of the leaking hose. The thermostat goes out, making it difficult to reach operating temperature. The headlights grow dim, and the horn gets weaker. The memory chip drops a few bytes, and the battery needs constant recharging. But if the body looks good with no bangs, dents or chipping paint, we can keep it washed and polished, giving the impression that it can compete with the newer models and make one more trip down the promise lane before the head gasket blows.” (Pinging Like Crazy in Tulsa, in Ann Landers, Spokesman Review, December 24, 1993, p. D2)
I would propose to you, the child of God who fills their tank with fuel of God’s Word will awake in the morning, approach every task, take on any trial and smoke down the highway with vision saying, “Gentlemen start your engines of life, the race is not over.”
In the Bible we read of God using and blessing the elderly. In Luke 2:36-38 we read, “There was a prophetess, Anna …she was a widow… eighty-four [years of age]. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. The Bible says as Jesus and His parents were walking up to Anna, she proclaimed for those to hear, “…she gave thanks to God and spoke of the Child [Jesus] to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Anna is not bitter by the trials of life, but serves the Lord in the powerful ministry of prayer in the discipline of fasting, denying the flesh to have fellowship with God. Anna is the example or model of what the elderly believer could be. Her example is a great contrast to that old popular saying, “Now that I am old, I have the right to complain and be grumpy.”
Robert McQuilkin wrote, “God planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical. But the strength and beauty of age is spiritual. We gradually lose strength and beauty that is temporary so we will be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty that is forever.” (Daily Bread) The whole of Scripture teaches us God does not intend for us to retire from spiritual activity, His desire for us is to bear fruit for Him. We can be assured, God wouldn’t keep us on this earth if He did not have a worthwhile work for us. Yes, our positions and placements my change, but there is always to call to be joyful (James 1:2), pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and encourage others (Hebrews 10:25).
The fuel to keep the old vessel running are these proclamations:
1.) “Since my youth, O God, you have taught me and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and grey you do not forsake me, O God, I will declare your power to the next generation…” (Psalm 71:17-18) Since the beginning of our relationship with the Lord up to time of our going home, the Lord will not forsake us, we can choose to be involved in proclaiming the truth of God’s Word in some way.
2.) “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) The valley of the shadow of death is a metaphor of walking in the midst of life facing it trials and temptations which can lead us away from the Lord or even take our lives. God has promised to be with us always guiding and enabling us to walk in His will. (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 354). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. Augustine of Hippo. (1888). Expositions on the Book of Psalms. In P. Schaff (Ed.), A. C. Coxe (Trans.), Saint Augustin: Expositions on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 8, p. 60). New York: Christian Literature Company.)
3.) “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6) God working, providing and enabling us in our past is proof He will be with us now and in the future.