“Aging exuberantly helps those who follow behind to age in a way that models the way to God.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 17, 2023
O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. Psalm 71:17-18, NLT
What does it mean to age exuberantly? It’s a learning process, but one way to age exuberantly is to embrace all God has for you, especially when life’s finish line is not too far ahead. Instead of becoming a crusty old curmudgeon who always complains, frustrated with life…what if instead, you grow gracious, loving, and forgiving…always on the lookout for ways to make life better for someone else. What if your emotions invite others in with a curious calm rather than having the need to always be right and prove others wrong? Aging exuberantly is an opportunity for the sunset of life to display a panorama of captivating colors that lift hearts to their Creator’s canvas of love. No need to smell old, dress old and act old…instead…age with irresistible exuberance!
David, as an aging man, reflects on the faithfulness of God. In humble celebration, this elder statesman thanks the Lord for teaching him as a child. David goes on to affirm his commitment in the present to tell others about God’s amazing works of grace, answered prayer, and provision. And, then he asks with an air of concern for the Lord not to abandon him in his old age…as people are prone to do…but instead to empower His servant to proclaim God’s power to the new generation and all the mighty miracles yet to come…even after his death. David admirably invites the Lord’s instruction as a child, and now old, maintains a teachable, youthful heart. He ages exuberantly by remembering God’s teachings; he keeps learning and inspires young lives.
“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” (Isaiah 46:4).
Consider ways to be intentional to love well as you grow old gracefully. Invite the next generation into your life…meals in your home…meals in their home…and meals at restaurants where they enjoy the dining experience. Listen to the questions younger people are asking so you are answering their felt needs and not just pontificating on your interests. Help them draw out what they may not be able to put words around, but trust you to give them wise counsel. And, of course, your stories can be captivating and instructive as you share mistakes, lessons learned, and how you grew closer to the Lord and others in the process. Be around youth to remain youthful!
Most of all, pray for the next generation to know God and follow His ways. Pray for your children and their peers to make their highest priority knowing and loving the Lord and doing His will for their life. Pray for youth to remember their Creator and to embrace a historical and institutional context for their faith, so their beliefs are not tossed around by every wind of competing religious constructs. A church that is not rooted in centuries of cherished traditions and teachings espoused by Jesus, His disciples, and the early church fathers and mothers only tickles ears and produces a weak, fickle faith. Pray for the faith, hope, and love of the next generation to build on our older generation’s love of God, people, and obedience to follow Jesus. Aging exuberantly helps those who follow behind to age in a way that models the way to God.
“But from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” (Psalm 103:17-18).
Heavenly Father, give me the grace to grow old with loving exuberance through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Consider a prayer journal for your children and their children.
Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes: The Blessing
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