Now I Am Old
Near the end of last week I celebrated my birthday for the 64th time. I’m sixty-four years old! Sometimes it seems impossible to me that I’m actually in my 60’s. At other times, however, it merely confirms what I pretty much already know – now I am old!
It takes me longer to do things now. I tend to forget things more easily. I have the normal aches and pains of aging along with the constant struggle to learn new things as technology constantly changes the way we do everything from talking on the phone to paying bills. Life is so different now from when I was a child. In fact, it is so different from when I was a young parent. I look at all that is going on around me and sometimes, I admit, I long for the way things used to be.
And then I remember the words of the Psalmist:
“Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
You see, God never changes. While I may change and the world around me may change, God remains the same. From the day I first placed my tiny mustard seed of faith in Him and trusted Him to save me, until today when I am old, God is the same. The same God who has brought me through difficulties and blessed me with joy is still with me and will never forsake me. He is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. In fact, the older I get, the more precious my walk with God becomes. We’ve been through so much together. I’ve witnessed His faithfulness in loss, in need, and in struggles of various kinds. He has been my comforter, encourager, forgiver, and restorer and also my joy. As Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes 5:20: “For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.” God delights those who seek Him with Himself and with daily gifts that bring us joy.
As I rejoice in God’s love and faithfulness to me, I’m reminded of the following verses found in Psalm 92:12-15.
“The righteous thrive like a palm tree and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they thrive in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, healthy and green, to declare: ‘The Lord is just; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” (Psalm 92:12-15)
Age may change a lot of things about me and the things I do, but this verse reminds me that even in old age I can still bear fruit, healthy and green fruit. The fruit that the Spirit of God produces in us is identified in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” As these fruits grow more and more visible in my life, they can point others to Jesus and help them learn about Him, too.
Jesus told a parable about a sower who went to sow his seed (see Luke 8:4-15). Some fell along the path and was trampled. Other seed fell on rock and withered. Still other seed fell among thorns and was choked out. Yet some seed fell on good ground and sprang up and produced a crop – 100 times what was sown! When Jesus later explained this parable to His disciples, He explained: “But the seed in the good ground – these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, bear fruit” (Luke 8:15).
We continue to bear fruit as we hold on to the Word of God and endure. In spite of the changes around us, we cling to the truth of God’s Word. In spite of the difficulties we may face, we don’t give up, but endure. I’m old now, but I want to keep on holding to God’s Word and to endure. Don’t you want that, too?