So often when we enter a new “era” in our lives, like turning fifty, we can feel a little unsettled about what’s ahead. Old age hasn’t gotten a lot of good press, so we might be tempted to think that we need to uncover some dark mystery about how to go forward into new territory.
But no matter what our age, biblical principles remain the same. Thankfully, we don’t have to discover a new set of standards for old age. The Christian life is the same start to finish. It is a walk of faith, no matter what part of the road we are on. It is still just putting one foot in front of the other, doing our duty, trusting God, believing His promises, and pressing ahead.
Living a long time is actually a sign of God’s blessing. It isn’t a curse! “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). So getting older should be comforting to us, not worrisome. After all, God is blessing us.
It’s always good to return to basic biblical principles and review them to keep our perspective straight.Who are we? Where are we going? Where did we come from? These are as basic as it gets, and yet we can get muddled over them.
We are created in the image of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, forgiven of our sins, reconciled to God, sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Eph. 1:13). That’s who we are no matter what age. We don’t have to “reinvent” ourselves. He is our Maker. We were created to be in fellowship with Him. We are His creatures, and He has prepared in advance the good works that we are to walk in (Eph. 2:10).
We are defined by Him, and not by what we do. We tend to define ourselves by our jobs or callings (I’m a mom, a nurse, a teacher, a designer, a grandma…). But these are all secondary. If we let ourselves be defined merely by what we do, then we can become confused when we are no longer doing those things. When our kids grow up, if we retire from our job, or if our husband passes away, we can suddenly feel like we aren’t sure who we are any more. But we are in Christ! That has not changed.
Women have basic needs. We need to feel that we have significance, that we are important to someone. If we find our significance in Christ, then we can offer up all those things we do to God, thanking Him for His goodness and kindness to us. But if we look for our significance in the things we do, we can feel restless. No job can meet our deepest need to feel significant. Only Christ can fill that need.
We need to feel secure. We can look for security in our husband, our children, our job, our bank account, our house, our friendships, or our dress size. But all these things are unreliable. Husbands are finite, children grow up, jobs end, houses get old, bank accounts fluctuate, friendships can drift, and dress sizes are very fickle things. If we put our trust in these things, we are in a perfect position to worry and grow anxious. But if we find our security in Christ, we are safe. He will never leave us or forsake us. We can cast our cares on Him, trust in His rock-solid promises, and find peace.
We all want to feel fulfilled or satisfied, and we can look for this fulfillment in family, marriage, worldly success, education, beauty, health or popularity. But none of these things can truly satisfy us. We were created to enjoy fellowship with our Creator, and all these secondary blessings come from Hand. It is in loving and following Christ that we find true fulfillment and soul satisfaction. It is not in a retirement package or a health insurance plan that we find fulfillment. If we are looking to people or stuff or positions to give our lives meaning and purpose, we will be unsatisfied and discontent. Only Christ can meet our deepest needs and give our lives true purpose.
If we let God’s Word define us, we know who we are and where we are going.