LESSON 7—Age Doesn’t Hold me Back
The day I turned 60, I gasped at the truth of it: I won’t live to be 120. That means I can no longer call myself “middle aged.” Sixty was no longer the middle of my lifespan.
The good part of that realization was it reminded me that God has numbered my years. If there are things I want to accomplish in this life—especially things I sense Him asking me to do—I’d better get busy. I can’t afford to let age hold me back. Neither could Elizabeth.
But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old (Luke 1:7)
Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years” (Luke 1:18).
Elizabeth was old when Gabriel gave Zechariah the news. Elizabeth didn’t moan and complain about being too old for diaper changes and midnight feedings. She didn’t worry that she might not be able to attend John’s high school graduation. Elizabeth celebrated the fact that God could use her life, even if she was old in human terms. God can use us too, no matter our earthly age. We are never too young or too old to be used by Him. Like the baby bear’s chair, bed and porridge, we are just right in God’s eyes.
For one brief moment after I turned 60, I felt as if I was nearly out of time. There were things on my bucket to-do list that I knew I’d never get around to, such as learning to ballet dance on pointe or winning a medal in figure skating. Those things require a body I no longer have, nor do I have the years left in which to perfect such an ability. But after I emotionally took my big pink eraser to a few of those items on my list, I celebrated that I still have exactly as much time left as God had ordained from the moment of my birth.
I don’t know how long that is. So I might as well live my life both as if I don’t have nearly enough time and also as if I have all the time in the world. In other words, I need to live without wasting my time. That also means I shouldn’t not do something big just because the future is in question. In other words, when God gives me a leading, no matter how much earthly time it may take, I need to embark upon the task with enthusiasm, diligence and intention because—as long as I’m being obedient to God—it is worthy, whether completed in this lifetime or not.
Jesus is doing the same thing in my spiritual life as well. Remember a few days ago when we read Philippians 1:6?
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is refining me; perfecting me; at work in my heart, mind and soul. And He’ll keep working until He sees me perfected, regardless of whether it happens in this lifetime or the next. It will happen. Regardless of human timing.
If Elizabeth were here she would say this was her story. She didn’t let her age hold her back from doing what God wanted her to do.
Who are we to God? When we understand that God can use us regardless of our age, we know how He might see His women of faith. We can respond:
I am like Elizabeth.
For Thought and Discussion
Was there a time when you felt too young or too old for something? What was it? Did you try to do it anyway?
How do you think God sees you—as an ageless child? Or from the maturity of our spiritual growth in Him?
Are there things you feel God is calling you to do? Pray on this and then list those callings here.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for numbering our days. Thank you also that you haven’t told us that number. Please help us live each day as it comes and do our best to work as for you. Amen.