October 18, 2023
By: Andrea Maher
I recently celebrated another birthday; I must admit the rising numerical just doesn’t compute in my brain. I don’t know when the phenomenon occurred, but there is a specific time frame, where my mind emotionally locked into a certain age and that is the reflection of myself that I picture in my head. It is a pervasive delusion that plays out well until that moment I unexpectedly pass a mirror and see my mother looking back at me.
Let’s face it, the aging process is not easy. Mind confusion continually lurks just beneath the surface and confronts you when you notice the pilot of your plane is younger than your children; or on a more personal basis, when you observe your own children’s thinning scalps.
This is magnified the times I have run into former classmates, and I don’t recognize them. After much awkward small talk, I frantically laser focus my gaze on the aged face in a desperate attempt to catch a glimpse of the once younger face. Sometimes it works, other times I leave wracking my brain all day trying to remember them. I confess my self-talk is, “Wow, they look so old.” As to which my conscience screams back, “You’re old!”
Time is truly like a vapor. Twenty today; fifty tomorrow. So, I consciously cheer myself on that it’s okay to be in the last quarter of life. The last quarter of anything is crucial to the success of the outcome. It is a period that takes more persistence, perseverance, and keeping one’s eyes on the end goal—which for the believer is the realization of eternal life.
So how do I want to finish my race? I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 9:10 which says, “Whatever thy hand finds to do, do it with all of your heart.” It doesn’t matter how wrinkled the hands are.
The truth is that we are ageless in God’s eyes. The gospel is what empowers us to face old age with a firm belief in God’s unchanging care for us. He holds our soul in His hand—that which never dies.
So rather than treat old age as a burden, it should be guarded as something special to be embraced. The recurring need to dye away the gray and manage the daily aches and pains that come with a decaying body is clarified in the Proverbs: “the glory of young (wo)men is their strength, but the splendor of old (wo)men is their gray hair” (20:29).
Consider Caleb, who at the age of 85 years, was offered his choice of property in the Promised Land. He didn’t choose a beachfront setting or a home on the golf course. He said, “Give me the mountain where the giants are. I want to stay strong by taking on new territory” (Joshua 14:12).
He was not willing to sit the bench. He was going to continue to battle giants and gain territory for the kingdom of God. This couldn’t be more pertinent for our day and age where giants are everywhere seeking to destroy our families and children.
It is time to utilize “the golden years” by being a gatekeeper where God has placed us. There is no retirement age for ministry. In fact, being a woman of a certain age, actually frees us up for more ministering opportunities: teaching the Scriptures, tending to other women’s needs, and utilizing the wisdom gained from a seasoned life.
So, here’s a reminder in the words of my Pastor, since we are not dead, we are not done. Seize the season you are in. Don’t fear it. Don’t sleep through it. Don’t fret over an unknown future. Don’t witness less. Be like Caleb—stronger than ever. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isa. 46:4)
Reminder: This life is only the dress rehearsal for greater things yet to come. Our days are numbered so stop thinking you have any power to extend your time here on earth. Our worth is not tied up in how much we do but rather that all we do we do to the glory of God and that includes aging. If we let Scripture guide our life, we will see that old age is not something to avoid but rather to embrace, for to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil 1:21).
“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).