"Growing Old?" Or Stronger and Wiser?
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him.” (Psalm 92:12-15)
Most of us were handed a lot of worldly cultural baggage on all kinds of topics when we were growing up. As we’ve taken Jesus’ yoke on us and learned from Him, we’ve found wonderful Freedom by discarding ideas and assumptions that just aren’t True. Maybe it’s time we renewed our minds on the whole “getting old” thing!
In most unRegenerate society, growing old is viewed as burdensome, limiting, and tolerable only because it beats the alternative. Older people are patronized, but rarely are they respected. They typically view their window of making a contribution to others’ lives as closed. And truthfully, decades spent in sin and selfishness will invariably wear people out. “Whoever sows to please the flesh, from the flesh will reap corruption.” Ah, but those who “sow to please the Spirit reap eternal life”!
What earth has seen far too little of in the last two millennia is genuine church life, where people of all ages and backgrounds and temperaments and Gifts are woven into a fabric of daily relationship, laying their self-life down for the sake of Jesus and each other, and bringing the living and active Word of God into each other’s lives day by day. What’s it like to grow old in the Father’s House? Some of us are starting to find out. ;) God assures us that His Courts are the perfect environment for the human “plant” to flourish! He promises that those rooted and nurtured in His House “will still bear fruit in old age” and “will stay fresh and green.” Of course we may exit life a little early if God wills it for His Purposes, and that’s fine with us. “Better by far to depart and be with Christ.” But if we are “to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor” for us (Philippians 1:21-23). Like Caleb, we can still be “just as vigorous to do battle” at age 85 as we were at age 40. Granted, we may not have witnessed this process very often in recent history. Potlucks and prayer meetings and praise bands--then going our separate ways until the next meeting—is no way to breed a Caleb. But we need to trust that doing Father’s Work His Way will have a far different outcome.
Let’s not any of us fear or dread the future for any reason! Let’s look forward to God’s plan for our lives and decide to be a contributor and a fighter every day He give us. :)