Getting Old?

Many of you readers out there, from what I can gather, are young or youngish, so you may not be able to relate to this little post. But, depending on your outlook, I am pretty youngish myself, even though I am a grandmother of thirteen.

Doug and I stayed at a bed and breakfast in Maryland that some of his family’s long-time friends own and run. These long-time friends are in their eighties, and they maintain their home, guest rooms, and lovely grounds largely by themselves, as well as preparing delightful breakfasts for their guests at some pretty outlandish hours in the morning. We were struck by their kindness, their hard work, and their cheerfulness, the way they take everything in stride with competence and ease of spirit. They have served the Lord for many years together, and they know how to stay in step.

The biblical outlook on age and aging is antithetical to our culture’s infatuation with youthfulness and immaturity. The Bible describes the gray head as a crown of glory, and living to see your descendents’ descendents as a great blessing from God. The older we get, the more we should attain to wisdom, and this is our glory. The world, on the other hand, is seeking the fountain of youth, not interested in a godly wisdom. But it’s not enough to nod our heads at this while we really have more in common with the world’s take on aging. We Christians must truly believe what God says about this.

What made me think of this? We celebrated the birthdays of a couple of my “old” friends today who turned 59 and 57. They are just beginning to hit their stride. Some Puritan or preacher (I can’t remember who) said something like, “I am just beginning to begin to be a Christian.” So much more ahead to learn. So many more opportunities to grow in faith and to become more like Christ. And so many mercies and blessings to look back on, which gives us more confidence, more faith to trust God for our future.

John Piper in his book Future Grace says we live between the two lines of the hymn “Amazing Grace”: twas grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

Years ago we had a couple of ancient apple trees in our yard, and I remember being struck by the immense amount of fruit those old things bore each year. What a great picture it was to me of what old age should be like: not barren, but weighed down graciously with fruitfulness. Some of our friends and relatives are weighed down by physical limitations, but that does not prohibit their spiritual fruitfulness. And those of us who are younger should take fresh courage from the great example of those faithful saints ahead of us. If they can carry such large loads of fruit, surely we can press on to do the same.

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7 thoughts on “Getting Old?

  1. Nancy,

    Thanks for a great post. Two of my closests friends became grandmothers last Thursday which caused me to feel old-ish (I’m almost 45). As I’ve reached my mid-40s, I find that my parents are oh-so-much smarter and wiser than I used to think they were back when I was younger. And amazingly, I’m really looking forward to those, Lord willing, many more opportunities to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Blessings to you and yours.

  2. Hmm…”Getting Old?”…Well, it’s not until I look in the mirror (and see those little lines that didn’t used to be there or gray that never use to highlight my hair) or try to do certain physical projects that used to take less time that the answer to that question becomes clear. Within, I still feel young and so ready to run the race at the speed of light. But heading towards that half century mark, it is quite apparent that the speed just isn’t there like it used to be. What is interesting though is the sense that something stronger has taken root. There seems to be a depth that wasn’t there before.

    To live a life of continued fruitfulness is what our Lord deserves. Perhaps this sense of depth will be that which brings bushels and barrels and baskets – big ones of spiritual fruit to Him for His glory! To look at my life as having only begun the Christian life, wow! Now that’s just plain ol’ energizing stuff!

  3. oh, how I long to be a fruitful old woman!! Gracious, kind, without the bitterness that tinges the leaves of so many…..hard-working and always serving others, bearing gifts and blessing my husband and family!

  4. Imagine when folks lived to be 800 or so before leaving this side of eternity–how much fruit they could bear!

    At thirty-something, my hair is going grey (my parents had grey hair at a young age, too) and it is amazing to me how many people find it to be worthy of comment. (mostly not in a bad way, but I’ve received some of those, too!) While I really just have too many other things to spend my time and money on besides hair color, I like that the Bible calls grey hair a crown of glory!

    I remember when my husband took his first principalship, at the age of 28. He was questioned more than once about his competance, given his young age. He used to say, “If only I had a few grey hairs, then I might be taken more seriously!”

  5. My husband & I have been reading Wilson books and material for years. I’m not sure how many copies of Reforming Marriage and The Fruit of Her Hands we’ve given away. We even like to give them as wedding gifts! So, I was delighted to find out about your blog. Thank you for your wisdom, humor, practical advice and most of all your no nonsense application of the Gospel to all of life. How refreshing.
    Yesterday I read your post on High Octane Love. Thank you for that wisdom. I have six children and seem to run on the natural instead of the supernatural. The first five of my six are boys, so pass on to your husband that my copy of Future Men is dog eared and marked up well!
    My husband pastors a reformed church in northwest Montana, so we are not far away…someday we’ll come visit.

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