Old Age

     What would you say is our nation’s deadliest job?  You might be surprised to know that it is the United States presidency.  There have been 46 presidencies with 45 individual presidents. Out of the 45, eight died in office before their term ended, four by assassination (Garfield, McKinley, Lincoln and Kennedy).  So, approximately 18% died while in office!  That’s a pretty high mortality rate. 

     You’ve undoubtedly heard that our 39th president, Jimmy Carter is now in hospice care at his home.  He is our nation’s longest-lived president at age 98 (born Oct. 1, 1924).  Regardless of what your opinion is of President Carter’s political views, he stayed actively serving and growing during his record 42 years after retirement, even teaching Sunday School up until not very long ago.

     I have a book I’m working on called Pithy Grabbers for All Occasions in which I have organized quotes and little sayings by topic, so this morning I looked up “Old Age” and found a few by Jimmy Carter: “Too many folks spend their lives aging rather than maturing.” “It is better to be seventy years young than forty years old!”  “Anybody who can still do at sixty what he was doing at twenty wasn’t doing much at twenty!”  

      I preached at a local church yesterday and talked about the people that God uses.  We saw that God is not limited by our background, social status, vocation, education or weaknesses. And, He is not limited by age. Noah began building the ark when he was 480!  Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90 when the promised seed Isaac was born. Moses was 80 when God called to him from the burning bush to go and lead the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. When the Promised Land was being divided up, after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Caleb, one of the spies (along with Joshua) who gave a positive report, said: “…now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim (giants) were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out as the LORD has spoken…Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb…because he followed the LORD God of Israel fully” (Josh. 14:10-14).  

     God can use us, no matter what our age, if we are wholeheartedly following Him.  Remember too that  “Jehoash (or Joash, which means “Jehovah has given“) was seven years old when he became king…and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem…and did right in the sight of the LORD all his days…” (II Kgs. 11:21-22). And “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem…and he did right in the sight of the LORD and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left”  (II Kgs. 22:1-3).   Then during the Apostle Paul’s ministry he wrote to his young understudy, Timothy, saying: “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (I Tim. 4:12).   God is not limited by the age of those He uses, providing they are Faithful, Available and Teachable (“FAT” believers!).  

     Age is a matter of the mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!  You can’t control the length of your life, but you can control the depth! And, by the way, comedian George Burns,  who died just weeks after his 100th birthday, said: “If you live to be 100, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age!” 

     So, to stay youthful, stay useful. God can use you at any age–if you are willing. Stay Faithful, Available, and Teachable.  If you are reading this today, God is not finished with you yet. Let me leave you with words from the Apostle Paul:  “Therefore we do no lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day…Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord”  (II Cor. 4:16; I Cor. 15:58). 

Forever His,

Pastor Dave

P.S. You are not too old as long as you can pray and ask: “How can I make the most out of the time I have left?”


About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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