Someone asked me the other day, “Why do you so often tell your age?” Well, I think it’s wonderful how God has kept me through so many years. I’ll tell it again.—I’m in my 80th year [in 1966]!
I wouldn’t fear old age, if I were you. Some people think that old age brings on all sorts of troubles and inconveniences. There is some of that, of course, but old age can also be a glorious adventure, especially for those who have a personal relationship with Jesus. Without Jesus, I imagine my life would have been humdrum and filled with disappointments and failures, and I’ve talked to many people who are like that—people who are haunted by a sense of emptiness and futility because they don’t have faith or a living relationship with a living Jesus.
How many people do you know, especially older people, who have radiant, joyful faces? So many of the faces of old people we pass on the street are unhappy and ridden with fear, and the reason for that is their lack of faith. They don’t have an anchor in times of storm; they don’t have Jesus to depend on. There is no joy on their faces because there is no joy in their hearts. But it doesn’t have to be that way. One of my friends described the face of one lady he knew as “an old cathedral lit up for evening worship.”
I’ve met other older people who talk about what a wonderful life they are experiencing in their old age, and inevitably that positive outlook and those positive outcomes are because they have strong faith. They say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”1 or, “I don’t fear the years! Come what may, I’m in God’s hands,” or, “God is a loving Father, and I know that all things will work together for my good because I love Him.”2 What a glorious standard to live by!
A lot of people get bogged down with the cares of this life; they worry about whether or not their physical and material needs will be met in the future. “O you of little faith,” Jesus chided some of those people in His day. “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”3 We have this assurance: “God shall supply all [our] need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”4 When the years come upon us, God understands our needs just as well as He does when we are young, and He is just as capable of meeting them.
The Bible tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”5 He and His promises don’t change with the years. They are just as true and just as much for us when we are old as when we were young. “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes”6 will work just as well when we are 80 as it did when we were 18. “So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.’”7
“[God] Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”8—He will not fail us in our old age, in other words. That’s the God I know. That’s the God who has proven Himself to me year after year under all conditions, and He’s standing ready at this moment to meet your needs also, whatever they may be. No matter what your age and no matter what your need, you are a unique concern of His at this very moment and always.
The best time of life
Old age should be the greatest time of life. If you’ve filled your days with love, lived a good life, and done your best to please God, it’s a time when you can see the good fruit of your labors. That should give you a feeling of genuine permanent accomplishment, and you can look forward to eternal rewards.9
It’s really sad that so many people view old age as a terrible time of life, when really things should be getting better and better. Old age only becomes a disappointment if we find ourselves growing older in years without growing closer to God. That’s like walking in a circle; it’s motion without progress. But God didn’t give us the gift of life intending the first half to be the best. What God begins, He completes and brings to perfection.10 So neither fear old age nor fight it, but take hold of this stage of life and make something beautiful out of it.—David Brandt Berg
1. Psalm 27:1
2. Romans 8:28
3. Matthew 6:32,26
4. Philippians 4:19
5. Hebrews 13:8
6. Mark 9:23
7. Hebrews 13:6
8. Hebrews 13:5
9. Revelation 22:12
10. Psalm 138:8; Philippians 1:6