A few weeks ago I woke up and discovered that I had turned 72 years old overnight. Not that it was a surprise, but yet it was still sobering. I didn’t really feel 72, but then I didn’t feel 71 the day before either. I sometimes look in the mirror and wonder how I got trapped in an old person’s body. Sometimes I joke with my sister about how old she is, since she is one year older than me. Am I going to have to stop kidding her now? What a dilemma!
I wondered: What does God say about older people? What should older people be doing? Should they be involved in ministry, or just retire and get out of the way? Some random thoughts:
I do recall that David prayed to the Lord and asked: “teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.” (Ps 90:12) So I did a little research and found that a 72 year-old male can expect to live about 13 more years on average. Doing the math that is about 4,745 days, but there is no guarantee of that…only God knows.
So what should I do? Well, I usually pray for my family each morning, so even if I did nothing else that would be at least 4,745 prayers for them…seems worth it. If I would also pray for my church and nation at the same time, now we’re talking 14,235 prayers over 13 years. So, I guess a 72 year old can accomplish quite a lot in the remaining time after all.
We know that Jesus said “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mat 28:20) But God also spoke directly to older people through Isaiah when He said: “Listen to me… (you) Who have been carried from the womb: Even to your old age, I am He and even to gray hairs I will carry you!” So He carried us when we were young and He will still carry us in old age. It sounds like a plan to me.
Titus 2:2 goes on to say that: “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.” Then Titus 2:3 adds: “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good.” Psalm 92:14 says: “They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.” Then Job 12:12 adds: “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.” So it sounds like God truly does have a plan for us and will provide the tools to complete it.
I would like for my prayer to be the same as David’s when he said in Psalm 71:18: “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”
So it sounds to me that there is a lot of ministry to do and some real job security for all of us young people in old bodies. Amen?
In His name,