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 (NIV)
Have you ever noticed how you are treated differently as you get older? Many older people are convinced that as they age they become invisible. When I was very young I believed that there were only three ages of people – children, adults and old people. Of course as I have aged, I have realised that the transition from child, to adult and then to older person is seamless and you don’t just wake up one morning and find that you are old.
What concerns most older people is that they do not wish to be seen as ‘has beens’, ‘past it’, or ‘worn out’. Everyone wants to be productive in life and there is no reason why as you get older that you cannot still be fruitful.
The psalmist puts it well when he says: ‘They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green …’ There is no reason whatsoever why you cannot remain fruitful for God in later life. What might stop us being fruitful? Possibly our own expectations and those of others. Certainly not in God’s eyes!
There is another aspect of the ageing process that concerns me: it is the world’s view that you should ‘grow old disgracefully’. I know that it is trying to say that you need to keep young and active, but for the Christian ‘disgracefully’ is hardly an attribute we should strive for. I would suggest that as you age, you should ‘grow old gracefully’ – that is, full of grace.
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