“THE DILEMMA OF AGING”
No one, including yours truly, is particularly enamored by the thought of aging. As a matter of fact, in many circles it is considered bad taste to ask the age of certain individuals. There may even be grave consequences for those who broach the subject in polite society. With those considerations in mind, I will tread lightly, seeking to avoid any semblance of impropriety in the examination of aging and its affect on those reaching toward the “golden years”.
The specter of aging becomes all too real as the biblical number, 70, comes into sharp focus. Psalm 90:9-10 tells us: “For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh.’ ‘The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” As you are reading this article, I will, more than likely have attained the afore mentioned milestone. Woe is me!
At age 21, we have no idea of what aging is all about or give it even a passing thought. We go our merry way, assuming we are invincible and, conceivably, immortal. By the time we reach 40, the term invincible is no longer part of our vocabulary, but we still cling to the idea of immortal. As our 50th and 60th birthdays click by at sonic speed, a certain grudging acceptance of age begins to grip our consciousness. We realize that we’re now in free fall and that loss of hair, dimming of sight and the necessity of learning to read lips are all part of our lives. Rolling out of bed takes on a whole new meaning each morning, with rise and shine being relegated to a distant memory. As the old saying goes, “old age is not for wimps!” How does all this rambling apply to those of you in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s? Stay tuned, we’ll get there.
I should, I suppose, let you in a little secret. I’m not at all panicked by the prospect of being a year older, even if that year happens to be 70. I’d like to give 50 another shot, but since that’s not possible, and I know that my days are all numbered by God, I’m plunging in “head first” and looking forward to the adventure. The important thing to recognize is that God has a perfect plan for all of our lives and we are only required to trust Him to bring about that which is pleasing in His sight for each of us. Now comes the exciting part; it’s all written down for us to follow, right in God’s Word!
I’d like to take you back in time approximately 3,500 years. The man’s name was Abraham and he played an essential role in the early history of the Jewish culture and cemented his legacy of faith by walking with God and trusting Him with the life of his son, Isaac. As you may remember, Abraham and Sarah, his wife, were without children for many years. When Abraham was 99, God informed him that he would be a father. Abraham asked the obvious question: ‘Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart,’ “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17). Then God said: “…, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.” (Genesis 17:19). In the following chapter Sarah laughs, also. She cannot even fathom the possibility that she might have a child! She knew she was far too old to be pregnant, let alone endure the rigors of childbirth. But, God answered her doubt by saying, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” ‘At the appointed time I will return to you , according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18:14). Within that year Abraham and Sarah, experienced the joy of childbirth and Isaac, their son, became the father of multitudes too many to number!
Aging is part of everyone’s life. Someone has said that we begin to die the moment we are born. In truth, that statement is absolutely accurate. We don’t have any idea how long we will be on this earth. Some will live to be 40, some 100 or more; no one but God truly knows how many days we’re allotted here on Earth. What we do with our days becomes the real issue.
Jesus said, “Let your light so shine among men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). No matter what your age right now, God has a definite purpose for your life. Don’t ever think that you are too young or too old to be of use to Him. As long as you are still able to breathe, God is not done working in your life. Someone needs to hear your story; someone is waiting for that special person who will spend a few valuable moments explaining the way of salvation, forgiveness of sin and eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Age is no barrier with God!