A Love for Older Folks

God’s Amazing Love Series
Third of five reflections on the love of God

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. —Isaiah 46:4 NIV

My British grandmother was in her early nineties when we visited her in England. Her face was wrinkled, her hair was gray, and her thick glasses unnaturally enlarged her eyes. Yet, she was as bright and cheery and energetic as always, walking to the bus stop every few days to do her own grocery shopping in the little village of Cottingham. At first, in my ignorance, I only saw her as “old,” and I treated her with deference due to her age. It took a while for her to help me see past the age to the youthful heart she still possessed. A few days into our visit, she looked at me with twinkling eyes and said, “You know, I may look old on the outside, but inside I am still a teenager.” That simple statement completely rearranged my brain in the way I think about older folk. Guess what? The “elderly” are just regular people with slightly more worn bodies. They can be a ton of fun to be around, once you stop tippy-toeing and start treating them like the normal humans they are.

God has never had a problem with our age—He appears to be “age blind.” Take Moses for example. God decided a good time for him to begin his career as leader of a nation was at eighty. When Moses was finally taken to Heaven at the ripe age of 120, even then “ … his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone” (Deuteronomy 34:7b NIV). A few generations later, Caleb decided his military career was not yet over and spoke to Joshua about it with determination. “ … So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day ... the LORD helping me, I will drive [the Anakites] out just as he said” (Joshua 14:10b-12 NIV). Daniel was still working as a statesman in a foreign land in his eighties, and God decided the best time for both Abraham and Sarah as well as Zechariah and Elizabeth to have their sons would be in their old age, when they were well past the time for childbearing.

Truly with God age is just a number. He looks at the heart. He often chooses older people to do valiant deeds. We are told in His Word to respect and value those who have lived long and lived well. Underneath the wrinkles and fading eyesight, we are still most definitely … us. Let’s not give in to the thought that we are too old to be useful and withdraw from the world! Let’s do what we can as long as He lends us breath, listening daily for His guidance and direction. God watches out for us all our lives. Just to make sure we know that, He spells it out for us in our key verse: “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” (Isaiah 46:4 NIV).

Last week, we studied how dearly God loves the little children. Isn’t it wonderful to know that His love never changes even though we grow older and weaker? He carries us, sustains us, and ultimately, if we have entrusted ourselves to Him, He rescues us from death itself and leads us into His Kingdom of light. Now that, dear ones, is love.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the many reminders in Your Word that You value us at every age, even when we are numbered among the “older folk.” Thank You that You have purpose for us as long as You give us breath! Whether we are strong like Moses and Caleb or weak and frail, You love us and carry us and lead us Home. Oh, Father, we are amazed at Your deep love for Your children of all ages! Thank You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,
Sharon

 

 

Sweet Selah Ministries

Vision
To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

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and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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2 Responses to “A Love for Older Folks”

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  1. Margaret Fowler says:

    As one of the older folks, I can testify that old age gives us a different perspective on life, and a great deal of thankfulness for all the things we can still do and all the things we have. Some of our former activities are no longer possible, but I am deeply thankful for all the things that remain, and a new feeling of compassion for those who can't.

    • Sharon Gamble says:

      An attitude of gratitude is the BEST way to live out our days well! I'm so thankful each one comes with a purpose.

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