They will bear fruit even when old and gray; they will remain lush and fresh. Psalm 92:14 CEB
Samuel Ullman penned these words in his poem Youth:
“Youth is not a time of life – it is a state of mind . . . Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. . . You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” (CLICK HERE to view entire poem)
For me it wasn’t until I hit forty-five that the whole “getting old” thing even registered on my radar. Somehow being in the “Halfway to Ninety Club” started to transform my way of thinking. I began to focus on the unmet goals and unfulfilled dreams. And ever so slowly, I noticed my perspective on life begin to morph into something not very cheerful. One evening, I was at a gathering of old friends and we were reminiscing about the good old days. I was starting to feel a tad bit depressed at how quickly time had gone by when one of my friends pulled out her cell phone. She proceeded to show me the following clip which she had recorded of her 65-year-old friend water skiing on the cold Columbia River that very same brisk October afternoon.
It is funny the things God uses to speak to you. This lady inspired me to enjoy life and live every minute to the fullest. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” I am determined to play, dream, live and serve the Lord with all my heart! We are promised God’s loving care even into old age (Isaiah 46:4 NLT) and the Bible is full of accounts of God using “ripened” men and woman to do the miraculous. (See Bible Study below.) Just in case you don’t believe He can do it in our time, be inspired by the following which was taken from Grantley Morris’ article, Smashing the Age Barrier.
- John Wesley preached over 40,000 sermons and traveled 225,000 miles. This was accomplished during the latter part of his life, from age 36 to 88!
- George Muller is said to have traveled 200,000 miles, using his linguistic ability to preach in several languages to an estimated three million people. Muller’s statistics only began after his seventieth birthday and continued for the next 17 years.
- Fanny Crosby was forty-three when she found her life’s work – she wrote her first Gospel song. So many songs followed, under so many different pen-names, that no one could keep track of them. Informed estimates range to beyond 8,000 (some say 9,000), with more than a hundred pseudonyms.
- In 1968, two middle-aged tourists, florists for over 30 years, were so moved by what they saw in Kenya that they decided to return as missionaries. Denny and Jeanne Grindall, with no engineering skills or even formal Bible training and very little money, instigated the building of a dam almost 80 feet high and piped the clean water nearly three miles to tribespeople. The Maasai gradually became so responsive to the Grindall’s message that twenty churches were opened and hundreds came to Christ.
- Black American missionary to Liberia, Eliza George, was forced by her mission to retire at age 65. Undeterred, she raised her own support and continued independently for the best part of three more decades.
- ‘I want to go to the mission field as soon as I can,’ announced an enthusiastic teenager on the day of her baptism. She made it – as a seventy-one-year-old widow. In Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Thailand, Burma and Communist Russia, Margaret Cole squeezed more excitement into a few years than most people ever see.
- Dr. Bernhard Johnson tells of a tiny Brazilian aged 105 who had led hundreds to the Lord. Uninspired? A further detail should cure that. He did not know the Lord until he turned 103.
In Christ, Invincible
You’re fruit growing sweeter,
Wine gaining value.
Not milk turning sour
Or cardboard caving,
Under the weight of time.
You’re concrete drying stronger
Trees growing higher,
Dawn glowing brighter.
Be encouraged. Be Blessed. LH
For a printable copy of this week’s Bible Study, CLICK HERE.
“JUST SAY KNOW” BIBLE STUDY
A Twinkle in Your Wrinkle
This week’s Bible Study is on the miraculous way God chose to use “ripened” saints. If He did it then, He can do it again!
Day 1 Read Genesis 12:1-5; 17:1-6, 15-21; 21:1-7
One of most amazing stories in the Bible is that of Abraham and Sarah. God miraculously brought life out of an old lifeless womb.
- What did God promise Abraham?
- How old was Abraham when he first received this promise?
- How did both Abraham and Sarah respond to God’s promise?
- How would you respond if God told you he was going to do something miraculous in your old age?
Day 2 Read Acts 7:20-37
Moses was another late bloomer!
- Why did Moses have to leave Egypt? How old was he?
- How old was he when he went to speak before Pharaoh?
- While Moses tended sheep for 40 years in Midian, do you think he ever imagined what God had planned for his future?
- Can you imagine God using you in such a miraculous way when you are eighty? (Ephesians 3:20)
Day 3 Read Joshua 13:1-7; 23:1-11
Joshua is another person in the Bible that still had much service to do for God even when he was old.
- What assignment did God give to Joshua when he was very old?
- How much time had passed from Chapter 13 to 23?
Day 4 Read Luke 1:5-23, 57-66
Here is another story of God working through those who are advanced in years!
- Why didn’t Zachariah believe what the angel told him?
- Why were the consequences for his unbelief?
- Why do you think God delights in doing miraculous things in the lives of the elderly?
Day 5 Read Psalms 92:12-15; Isaiah 46:4; Psalm 37:25
- What is promised to the righteous?
- How long will God care for us according to Isaiah 46:4?
- What two things has the elderly psalmist never seen?
- Take time to say a prayer acknowledging that nothing is impossible with God and give Him permission to work in and through you all of the years of your life!