Have you seen the photos circulating on social media, created by FaceApp? It’s gone ‘viral.’ The app lets a person snap a photo and then it ‘ages’ them. The results can be hilarious and alarming! When our lined, wrinkly but still recognizable, face shows on our screen we wonder, “Is that really my future look?”
Aging is one of American’s greater fears. We ask ourselves – Will my mind fail? Will my health become fragile? Will I be discarded or forgotten?
In the book of Joshua I read this line today. “When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the LORD said to him, “You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.” (Joshua 13:1, NIV) God was reminding that leader that there was much yet to do and that he was part of the divine plan!
Joshua continued to lead Israel for another decade or so, establishing the people in the Promised Land, challenging them to remain faithful to God. One simple phrase became his epitaph: “After these things, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten.” (Joshua 24:29, NIV) That found a place in my heart. “The servant of the Lord,” that phrase says the most important thing about life – for all of us.
We are all growing older. Time is relentless. In later years, when our energy is less, when our enthusiasm has waned, we might be tempted to leave serving and ministry to others. I have known more than a few people who lived as if they were dead for years before their body was put in a coffin. Joshua did not stop living just because he was ‘very old.’ There is a realism that includes the limits of an older body that cannot keep up with the young, that recognizes the value of the ideas of the next generation.
Our prayer as we grow older is borrowed from Moses – “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12, NIV)
I remember being in my 20’s and wanting to be 30, convinced that it would be a magical age when I would be taken more seriously in my calling. Now, I am in my 60’s and sometimes wish I had the strength that I took for granted in my 30’s! God can use us, no matter the season of our life. Let’s not make the mistake of putting off His call to another day. He has a place for us all – young and old – in His plan.
Here is a word from the Word, written by a man who wasted too many years, only to live with regret. “Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living. It will be too late then to remember him, when the light of the sun and moon and stars is dim to your old eyes, and there is no silver lining left among the clouds.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-2, NLT) “Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NLT)
May your day be a blessed one as you find contentment in loving Him and serving others in His Name.