I was going to save this for when my birthday rolls around. However, since it doesn’t come until November, I thought someone might appreciate some encouragement before then. The following was posted on DaySpring.com and offered as an article to be shared.
What God Says About Getting Older — July 28, 2016
Imagine celebrating your birthday like you’re 10 years old again. Full of joy, excited for the year ahead, doing something you love with the ones who make you smile.
Why do so many of us stop celebrating as the years pass? Birthdays come and go – maybe there’s a dinner involved, a few cards, some well wishes online. We move up one number, and it’s business as usual.
What would it look like to really celebrate our years again – to begin shifting our focus from the fear of aging, to the rich, full lives God is calling us into as the years pass?
This is not an easy task in a culture that fears growing old. Every day we’re bombarded with anti-aging messages. Remember this popular skincare commercial from the 80’s?
“Why grow old gracefully?” Says a beautiful, wrinkle-free woman, ”I intend to fight it every step of the way!”
But what does God say about it all? If we listen to the One Who created us, we will hear all about grace and goodness; not fear and resistance.
He reminds us more than once in His Word that growing older is an honor. “Gray hair is a crown of splendor…” (Proverbs 16:31 NIV). The more years we live, the more experiences we’re given to learn from, and the more wisdom and perspective we gain to see life in new and beautiful ways. When we see someone in their later years (or when we look in the mirror and it’s us!) lets remember what a gift that is.
And while the media leads us to believe that youth somehow has more value, the truth is, we are treasured by God at every age. Not only that, but He gives us specific gifts to share with the world in every season of our lives. In Titus 2:3-5, Paul reminds the older women of their great purpose – that by living reverent lives of love, self-control, purity and kindness, they will bless and nurture the hearts of the younger women and their families. The generations to come depend on our willingness to share what God has given us.
Some of us also fear growing older for physical reasons. Aging is often seen as a loss of control. Maybe our bodies aren’t able to do what they once could; our memories aren’t as sharp; we begin to need more help than we used to. As the years pass, our fear of the unknown may grow stronger.
But the truth is, we’ve never been in control anyway! From the moment we were created – whether we’ve realized it or not – we’ve relied on our Creator for every breath. Growing older helps us to shed that illusion of control more and more, and to rest in the promises of our loving God. Whether we’re 9 or 90, He vows to be with us every step of the way:
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 NIV)
How can we lean into God as we age, trusting that every day matters, from our first to our last?
Claim His Promises – Sit with a journal and your Bible, and interview yourself about growing older. Am I afraid of aging? And if so, why? Once you’ve recorded your thoughts, find specific promises in God’s Word that will help bring you peace and assurance.
Make Healthy Choices – While the human body is not intended to live forever, we can still honor our Creator by making choices that bring us health and strength each day. We are here at this time for a reason – let’s not miss the opportunities to help guide and encourage those around us!
Celebrate Life Every Day – Whether you’re celebrating your birthday or that of someone you love, remember that every day in every life matters. Don’t wait for a milestone to make it extra special. Look in the mirror and cherish your laugh lines; remember how they are created. Smile at the grays; God says they are splendid. Laugh at the future; remember Who’s holding it all.
Does this make you feel any better about getting older? What is your attitude – and do you have any tips – about aging?
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂
Thanks for this meaningful post! I just read what Harry Belafonte had to say about aging. https://davidkanigan.com/2017/02/05/why-3/ It must be that kind of a day.
Wow, Darlene. Thank you for that link. I read it and … I sure wish everyone would.
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It’s nice to hear someone mentioning our Creator when talking about things like this 🙂 Only the thing is, God actually did create humans to live forever; it was the original pair whose choice gave up many things for humankind. We’re still living with the results of that choice, in humans rejecting God’s sovereignty, but for the worthy that gift of “everlasting life” here on earth will be restored.
So many of us don’t go into old age healthy enough not to crumble in severe ways and much of that was in control :-\ so it’s difficult to accept the loss of mind and body. It’s the spirit that must stay young and having faith is what keeps that alive, in my opinion 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!
Welcome to my blog, Donna Marie!
Yes, you’re right; God did create us to live forever, and then Sin happened. 😦 BUT … through an individual’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, one’s spirit becomes new and eternal life begins for him/her. Isn’t it the most amazing thing?! I stand in awe.
I believe we are not good enough to ourselves, generally, to maintain good health. There is so much against us, starting with the food we eat and the air we breathe, but it’s up to us to make the right choices. It’s hard to stay young in mind, I find, when I feel so tired some days. I need more positivity around me, perhaps. Thank you for your opinion here. I appreciate it. 🙂 Keep the faith.
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I know that I struggle with some nasty health issues, brain-related being one. I’m trying to help those (decades of trying) because my desire to live and be productive in meaningful ways (with God’s purpose in mind) is still my driving force 🙂
I’ve been despairing a little myself this week, about nagging health stuff. Through reading your words I realized I have to get above it.
I’ve prayed for you. Rest in and trust in His guidance.
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And I for you, Lynn 🙂 It’s a difficult road and days can be really, really rough, but it’s the hope and faith that keep us going 🙂 I’ve spent a good amount of time crying and stressing because of how difficult so many things can be, but for as long as we’re breathing, we have to stay “up” in whatever ways we can. Every day I ask God for strength 🙂
HE is your strength and song, and He never fails. 🙂
Thank you for your prayers. Have a wonderfully positive week.
What a great article. Thank you for sharing, Lynn. I love the wisdom!!!
Thanks, Sue. 🙂
That’s a great article – I am glad to have read it before I stop growing, so I can always keep growing in spirit even after the body has stopped. 🙂
Excellent thinking there, Erik. 🙂