Age? It’s just a number!
Joshua 14:11 “I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.” (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Joshua%2014:11&version=ESV)
Are you “of a certain age” or do you feel that your youth is slipping away from you?
You’re not alone! For as long as man’s been around, we looked for ways to try to keep ourselves younger.
Sadly, in our society, older people are often overlooked and undervalued . Even in our churches. Retirement and beyond is seen almost as a time to “put out to grass” and just while away the hours. Why?
Let’s have a look at the life of Caleb a for a moment.
As a younger man, Caleb had been one of the delegates sent on the important mission to check out the Promised Land before the Israelites conquered it. Caleb had faith that God would help them to defeat the Canaanites, but the other spies had strongly disagreed, and they had disheartened and discouraged the people.
Josh.14:8: “but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.”
Caleb had never lost faith in the promise of the Lord his God, and here we find him, forty five years later, age 85, saying: “Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.” (Joshua 14:10-12 NLT)
Wow! This doesn’t sound to me like an elderly man asking for his slippers and newspaper. I can picture him now, the 85-year Old Caleb, swing himself up onto his warhorse, sword in hand, sinewy muscles taught and ready to ride into battle, if needs be!
It’s inevitable in life that we will all go through certain changes; retirement, the death of a beloved husband or wife, the children leaving home and that feeling of an ’empty nest’, the natural ageing and changing of our bodies. These changes can, if we allow them to, have a detrimental effect on our ‘hearts’ – that is, our soul. If we allow ourselves to listen to the ‘nay sayers’, just like those fellow spies of Caleb’s. Those who feel that growing older is a negative thing, or a reason to ‘slow down’. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible that tells me to slow down, take a back seat or give up on my God given dreams as I approach retirement age.
I see so many ‘older’ people – and I put the inverted commas there on purpose, because age really is just a number in God’s Kingdom – slowly start to become discouraged, feel they have no real purpose anymore and they often fade into the background in our churches.
But notice how Caleb speaks – he doesn’t say ‘I’m old’. ‘I’m no use to anyone’. Oh no, not Caleb! He says ‘I AM 85 AND AS AS STRONG NOW AS WHEN MOSES SENT ME’.
Those are the kind of words we need to be speaking over our hearts as we head towards retirement, go through ’empty nest syndrome’ or menopause; as we notice we now need reading glasses, and other ‘help’, and are tempted to feel we’re losing our purpose in life.
You will never be ‘too old’ to worship God: To worship him is what we are created for. He isn’t interested in what we can DO for him, he just wants our hearts. Our devotion. Because he is devoted to us. Even if your body is frail, and you cannot, physically do much, you can still draw near and enjoy the presence of God.
You can still be a prayer warrior!
“In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and YOUR OLD MEN WILL DREAM DREAMS.” Acts 2:17
This is God’s promise to you, so be encouraged today, if you are feeling in that ‘certain age’ category!:
“I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:4