Thursday, August 13, 2015

Forever Young

 Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
 they will remain vital and green.  (Psalms 92:14 NLT)

         I am the first of the baby boomers. I was born in 1946 along with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the inception of the baby boomer era.  Many of us are starting to notice a little wear and tear on our mortal bodies. I don’t run down the first base line with the same rapidity that I once did. As a matter of fact, I don’t run the bases at all anymore.  For believers in Christ, though our physical bodies are decaying, our spirits are growing stronger and stronger.
         Many in this generation reach this stage of life and move into a nostalgic malaise.  They sit around and think about “the good old days.” As Christians, yes, we thank God for his faithfulness in the past, but we use it as a springboard of faith for our involvement the new things God wants to do. Of course, due to physical limitations, we sometimes have to vary our type and the extend of our service to the Lord, but this in no way makes us ready to be put out to pasture.  As the above scriptural reference says about the godly, “Even in old age they will still produce fruit.”  We should never allow ourselves to become a prisoner of a positive past.
         E. Stanley Jones, the famous missionary statesman to India, at age seventy raised a few eyebrows at a conference when he proclaimed that the next ten years would be his best. At age eighty the naysayers had to admit he was right.  After he turned eighty, Jones asked the Lord for more and better years. The Lord spoke to him that the next era would be one of his greatest contribution. This too, also happened.  What enabled this man to be fruitful his entire life?  It was attitude. A young girl once asked her Mother, “How old is Stanley Jones?”  The Mother answered, “77.”  The girl replied, “How can this be? He acts as if he is just beginning.” Jones once said this toward the end of his life.  “Is this period of my life a sunset or a sunrise?  But this that I have doesn’t have the feel of a sunset at all.  It has the feel of a sunrise.  In Jesus there are no sunsets, they are all sunrises.  He is the bright and Morningstar, not the evening star.  He is the Lord of the past, the present, and the future.”
         My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we must always remember that our home is in heaven. Though our bodies are fading, God’s Spirit is renewing our spirit in anticipation of the day when we will be with Him. The best days for Christians are always in front of us. Let us all rejoice every day that in Christ we are forever young.

Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing