Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Growing Old...

Psalm 71:14-24
But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts,
O Sovereign LORD;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declaire your marvelous
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come.
Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O
you who have done great things.
Who, O God, is like you?
Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor
and comfort me once again.
I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
O holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you---
I, whom you have redeemed.
My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
have been put to shame and confusion.
"Old age is the season when we can give ourselves to "soul-making," as the Quakers say. We can concentrate on getting to know God better and cultivating character traits that make us more like Him. Age breaks down our strength and energy and strips us of our busyness. It's God's way of getting us to slow down so we'll take more time for Him. We can think more deeply about life, about ourselves, and about others.
Change is an inevitable part of life. We're being shaped every minute we live. Every thought, every decision, every action, every emotion, every response is shaping us into one kind of person or another. Either we're moving toward likeness to Christ or away fro Him into some sort of caricature of the person God intended us to be.
It's true, we lose some things as we age: physical strength, quickness, agility. But think of the calm God gives us, the peace He leaves us, the benefits of His salvation, and His faithfulness to us (Psalm 71:15).
Old age is the best time to grow in grace and godliness, in inner strength and beauty of character. "The silver-haired head," the wise man said, "is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness" (Proverbs 16:31)." Our Daily Bread Devotional
As I read through this the other day I was struck anew by the statement: "Every thought, every decision, every action...Either we're moving toward likeness to Christ or away from Him into some sort of caricature of the person God intended us to be."
Old age may, indeed, be the best time to grow in grace and godliness, etc. However, I do hope and pray that our son and other young people, who desire to grow in their relationship with the Lord, do not wait till they are old to begin growing in the Lord. Think about all the wasted time... Granted, time may be a factor when one is younger, but God is the giver of time and is certainly capable of multiplying one's time.
No matter what age you are, I would encourage you to seek out the Lord and take time for Him. Allow Him the opportunity to grow you in grace and godliness, to develop inner strength and beauty of character. May we all be moving toward a "likeness of Christ" rather than becoming a "caricature of the person God intended for us to be."

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