I hate getting old! Don’t you? I don’t like reduced energy, gray hairs, wrinkles, dry skin, achy joints, sleepless nights—and especially debilitating pain. These last few years have been difficult for me in that I had to have back surgery—for the 4th time!
I try to accept the declining of my health, but sometimes it’s hard not to complain, to moan and groan over the loss that comes with getting older. And of course, the older we get the greater the reminder of our mortality. But it is a fact of life!
Contrary to what many believe, complaining doesn’t help. I’m not saying discussing a problem with a friend or spouse is wrong if we are trying to come to terms with it. But if we are only venting, it discourages others, displeases God, and only adds to our misery!
So what’s a child of the King to do?!
How do we not get overwhelmed and become grumpy old women?
I believe the first thing you and I need to do is to change our perspective on the inevitability of getting older and dying. The way we look at things greatly affects our feelings.
A few months ago in the wee hours of the night, when I was lamenting that the quality of my life was diminishing, my kind Lord graciously reminded me of something…
Although the quality of my physical life was declining, the quality of my spiritual life didn’t have to decline—if I stay focused on Christ.
That’s what Paul was talking about in 2 Cor 4:16-18.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Look what God says to those who are living for Him…
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Is 46:4, emphasis added)
In order to be productive and have rich, meaningful lives up until the day we die, we need to be and remain in a right relationship with God and intentionally focus on the positive outcomes of being right with Him.
To get the right perspective of getting older, focus on these positive outcomes of getting old with the Lord:
- Increased wisdom which we can pass on
- Increased intimacy with the Lord
- Increased faith
- More wonderful memories of how God has been faithful to us (Ps 37:25)
- More ways we have seen the Lord work in and through our lives
- More testimonies of answered prayers to share
- One day closer to seeing Jesus and all the bliss of heaven
- A greater appreciation of everything—every minute, every breath, every person, every experience
- Increased sense of urgency not to waste time or take people for granted, and to take every opportunity the Lord gives to serve Him and proclaim His Name (for it may be your last).
So my friends, if you and I are growing in our relationship with God and keeping the right perspective of getting old, we will impact more people positively and give God more glory with our lives. This increases our joy, and puts a smile on the face of God.
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” (Ps 92:12-15)