Linda Wood Rondeau

Having the Prime of My Life

EVEN WHEN I'M OLD AND GRAY
Thursday, December 28, 2023 by Linda Wood Rondeau

(FROM HAIRSTYLES FOR WOMEN OVER 60)

(My hoped-for new coiffure)

Even when I am old and gray,
    do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
    your mighty acts to all who are to come

(Psalm 71:18 NIV)

 

The heading in my Bible commentary for the above-mentioned Psalm is “Old Age.”

 *We can assume the Psalmist was not yet in his declining years as he says, “When I am old and grayheaded … (v 18 NKJV). But he asks God to see him through in this time of life.

 Scholars suggest the psalm is a prayer of the afflicted remnant in Israel’s old age. The first few verses remind the worshiper that the Lord is a refuge, a rock, and a fortress. This is why we can be assured of God’s deliverance and mercy in times of trouble, as well as into our senior years. The one who puts his hope in God should be happy because the Lord can be trusted, even more than horses or a mighty army.

We should not judge the Lord’s ability to comfort and help based on our circumstances.

 “To grow old gracefully calls for more Grace than Nature can provide. Old age is a new world of strange conflicts and secret fears; the fear of being left alone, the fear of being a burden to loved ones, the fear of becoming a helpless invalid, the fear of losing one’s grip, the fear of being imposed upon. These fears are not new. The psalmist is here thinking aloud for the encouragement of all who are in the autumn of life.*

For the Psalmist, hope quickly rises above fear concerning his enemies or the fear of growing old.

When we recall God’s favor and help through years past, we are comforted to realize he will be with us today and tomorrow as well ... regardless of our ability to sense him or to do the things for Him we have done in the past. These remembrances wash away those fears listed above.  

The psalmist asked for God’s continued strength in the years to come so that he would exhaust himself in extolling the Lord’s goodness to future generations.

 What can we do to continue to extol his goodness in our infirmities or loss of physical strength in old age?

Here are a few ideas

  1. Write your memoirs of how God has helped you throughout the years. If you are unable to use a computer or if your penmanship has become blurred with age, have someone help you. You don’t have to be a great writer. Just be honest and write from your heart. Your children, grandchildren, and those who follow will be blessed by your stories.  
  1. Pray for our loved ones. Prayer accomplishes much.
  1. Send cards or notes to those on your heart, and let them know you are praying for them. Not just on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. Even an email means a lot to a younger person struggling with many life issues. No doubt for many, you have experienced the same struggles. Your testimony of how God helped you may give that person the courage to face this trial.

God still has a purpose for the seniors He loves until He calls us home, though we may not see how He can still use us or for what He may use us. Even if it’s just you and Him, God is there; and he wants to hear the melody in your heart. Never cease to give Him praise.

*as quoted in The Believer's Commentary, William MacDonald, Thomas Nelson, 1995, 192, 1990, 1989 p. 657


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