Even to Old Age
”Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save" (Isaiah. 46:4).
Some of my younger-older friends lament the fact that they're over the hill. "Believe me,” I say, “it only gets worse,” for in my experience, going "over the hill" is not steady, slow descent; it's more like falling off a cliff: “One woe doth tread upon another’s heel so fast they follow," Hamlet said. Dealing with those cascading woes is the spiritual challenge for us in our latter years, I believe.
Philosopher Emanuel Kant somewhere said that age wants to be looked upon as meritorious and stand as a good example. It strikes me that one ministry of the aged is simply that: to be a good example and show younger Christians how to age, for barring an early demise, every young person will someday be old.
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Do not let the young people catch you indulging in melancholy, sitting in your chimney–corner, grumbling and growling, but go about cheerful and happy, and they will think how blessed it is to be a Christian. If you are surly and fretful, they will think the Lord has forsaken you; but keep a smiling countenance, and they will think the promise is fulfilled, "Even to old age I will carry you; I will carry and will save." Children run away from a surly old man, but there is not a child in the world but loves his grandpapa if he is cheerful and happy. You can lead us to heaven if you have got heaven’s sunlight on your face…for so will you prove to us that even to old age God is with you, and that when your strength fails, he is still your salvation.“
The strength of grace does not fail with the passage of time. Our last days can be our best days and our last work our best work if we rest each day on the One who is our righteousness. If we ask Him, He will carry us and He will save.
So, we pray “Even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake (us) until (we) proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come" (Psalm 71:18).