Sunday, January 13, 2019

I’m 55

Today I turn 55 years old. It’s almost hard to believe some places now consider me a senior citizen. At least this entitles me to certain discounts. For the past nine years, a few McDonald’s restaurants charged me for a “senior coffee” despite most people telling me I look younger than my actual age. Thank God He has preserved my youth! (Psalm 103:5)

I still have very few gray hairs even though my dad’s hair turned gray at an earlier age. That also happened with my brother-in-law Greg. One day we all went out for a family dinner and I had fun filming the occasion with my laptop’s webcam. When Greg saw himself on camera, he made reference to his gray hair. I reminded him that’s a sign of wisdom. Job 12:12 says, “Wisdom is with aged men, and with length of days, understanding.” Greg jokingly declared, “I got the ‘dom’ part down…now I’m looking for the ‘wis.’”

God expects us to respect the elderly. Leviticus 19:32 says, “You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.” Nowadays, senior citizens have added perks like special seating on buses but are still sometimes mistreated and called names like “old fart.” I admit there’ve been times I got annoyed when an elderly person ahead of me moved too slow in traffic or a supermarket line.

Generations ago, the elderly often spend the latter years of their lives with relatives who looked after them. More senior citizens are now being put into a nursing home. This happened with my mother after she had a stroke at 66. For financial reasons, Dad had to continue working full-time but regularly visited her. I’m sure he would’ve preferred taking care of Mom at home but couldn’t be with her 24/7.

A few friends have expressed concern about me not having some kind of retirement account as I continue living by faith on the mission field. I read that Corrie ten Boom lived out of suitcase while ministering into her eighties until a stroke rendered her unable to speak. By that time, Corrie had a house provided for her where she resided until dying on her 91st birthday. Isaiah 46:4 says, “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

It’s sad that elderly folk can be among the hardest to reach with the gospel. A few older individuals I witnessed to claimed they knew more about the Bible than me. After one such incident, it occurred to me the devil probably knows more Scripture that both of us put together. Certainly, he won’t spend eternity in heaven. It’s not what you know but Who you know that determines if you will pass through the Pearly Gates.

“The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” - Proverbs 16:31

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