Our Bible verses for today: “Older men are to be self-controlled, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance. In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not slaves to excessive drinking. They are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women …” Titus 2:2-4 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Your life matters, especially when you are old.”
Yesterday I told you about my old friend and mentor Dick DeGrow, and how it was that in his 70’s God used him to help me get started on the right foot as a new Pastor. Over the years there have been so many other older people God has used in that way in my life as well. In recent devotionals I’ve told you about my eighty-four-year-old friend who is still active and vigorous and who still rides his Harley. I want to be like that! I told you the story of the woman who stayed married to a difficult man for more than fifty years and she did it with grace, dignity, and great faith. Her example has inspired her children and grandchildren and all the rest of us too.
I also think of Mary E. Henry, a founding member of Oak Hill Baptist Church and the original pianist for the church at only 17 years old. She was still playing the piano for the church into her 80s. She was also the church historian. As the new Pastor at Oak Hill Baptist, she invited me to her home numerous times so I could spend hours sitting at her kitchen table as she showed me pictures and told me stories about the history of our church. And then there was Mary Rose Kemmer. She was such a loyal and committed church member, and church attendance was so important to her, that even in her 80’s, when she was seriously disabled and a true shut-in, she would hire off-duty healthcare workers to come to her home on Sunday mornings, get her dressed, drive her to church, sit with her through the service, and then take her home, all so she wouldn’t miss church!
I could fill pages and pages with names and stories about elderly people who have blessed me and enriched my life in significant ways. If the Lord grants me the privilege of living into old age, I want to be like them!
Sadly, far too many older people have difficulty seeing the value in their lives in this season of life. Part of the reason is that the rest of us fail to see just how much of a blessing they are and how much we can learn from them. Therefore, we don’t treat them with the respect and honor they so richly deserve, and we don’t spend enough time with them.
If you are in your senior years, I want you to know that your life still matters. You have a lot to share with the rest of us, and God’s not done with you yet. Please don’t withdraw from life. Come to church; be involved in the lives of younger people; pick up the phone and invite people to your home.
And for the rest of us, we need to realize that the older people all around us have lived rich and full lives and they have an entire lifetime of accumulated experience and wisdom they can share with us. Your life will be richer and you will be blessed by spending time with them.
The truth is that your life matters, especially when you are old.