"Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you." Isaiah 46:4
Isn’t this a beautiful promise in the Word of God? Perhaps it will not be as meaningful for the young, but if you are in the sixty plus group we experience great comfort as we read this proclamation from God to His own. The truth is we all who live long enough will experience an aging body that is ultimately headed for death. Our spirit will not die, but our bodies are not eternal. We must rely more on the Lord with each passing day. He truly becomes our strength in order to survive the demands of daily life in this world. What we once could do with such ease becomes more and more of a challenge. Beauty fades and muscles deteriorate!
Oftentimes we are forsaken in old age by our children and grandchildren. That is more prevalent today than it has ever been. Grandparents used to be a vibrant part of families and were valued for their age and all they sacrificed and contributed in the lives of their children. Many times aging folks end up alone due to death of a spouse, or unwanted divorces. When the elderly need someone in their lives the most, more often than not it is when we are neglected the most. Everyone is busy with their own lives, and having never experienced old age the young can be insensitive and clueless to the pain of loneliness that accompanies age.
However there is a bright side to the winter season of life if you are a disciple of Christ. Our focus easily becomes more on the eternal than the temporal. Paul states in 2 Corinthians 4:16:
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen; but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
I believe this is a key verse for the golden years. Our focus narrows and we realize what really matters in life. If Christ isn’t the center of our lives we are missing the mark! What purpose is there to living if there is no God, and there is nothing more than ourselves? What fools we are if we allow the cares of this world to keep us from what really matters. If we allow selfish ambition and empty conceit to motivate our time, rather than developing relationships with those we love, we are truly being seduced with lies and deception. Remember, satan came to kill, steal, and destroy. How many families have been destroyed by one evolving to ultimate selfishness which is when life becomes all about them and their happiness, no matter what consequences the other family members have to suffer, on their behalf.
If we don’t focus on loving God above all else we will fulfill our nature which is self preservation and to love ourselves no matter how it affects anyone else. An honest question we need to ask ourselves before God is do we love Him more than ourselves? Are we willing to surrender our will for His will? Are we willing to offer our lives as living sacrifices daily? I pray the young who might possibly be reading this devotional will honestly contemplate their answers by the choices they are making now. To avoid going into old age and life full of regrets we must make the right daily choices now.
Love is always a choice, not a feeling. We must first make the choice to love God above all else and trust in His all knowing wisdom. It will determine your eternity. Know this; it does not mean your life will be easy on this earth. Hear the words of John, the disciple whom Jesus loved according to his writings, Revelation 1:9:
"I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the Island of Patmos because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus."
At this point in John’s life all the disciples had been martyred for their faith, and he is an old man. He was banished to the Island of Patmos to work in the mines as a slave most likely. Why? Because of the Word of God and his testimony he proclaimed faithfully to the end. Christians receive their awards not on this earth, but when Jesus returns and there will be a new kingdom established and a new earth. Let us read the words of Isaiah 49:4 pertaining to our Messiah:
"But I said, "I have toiled in vain. I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord, and My reward with My God."
This is true for all of us. Jesus is who we are following. He was not esteemed or valued by the ones He died for. He made the most ultimate sacrifice that will ever be made. He was without sin, perfectly innocent. and He made the choice to die for all of us who are full of sin. He died for us while we were yet sinners to prove His love for us. (Romans 5:6-11). He knew every sin we would commit, and He still chose to pay the price for all. We are called to be His disciples. We must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. Our cross is to surrender our will, to do His will throughout our lives. Remember he who has suffered in the flesh ceases to sin according to His Word. (1 Peter 4:1-2) Please take a moment to read this verse and put it into context along with your other scripture references. May we meditate on the fact God’s love and character never changes. He will value us the same as we age, and become gray. He will bear our burdens with us, He will carry us, and He will delver us safely home in His loving arms where we will spend eternity…if we make the choice to allow Him to by our faith and obedience to His Words. Honestly consider the choices you are making on a daily basis now as we all are heading in the same direction while aging out of this world into the next.
In His love.
Pretty fall pictures from home!