July 19, 2015

Psalm 71:18 Even when I am old and grey,
do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come.

Old people have a number of purposes, but perhaps the chief of those is to transmit what they have learned of God to succeeding generations. A study done within the past few years showed that even when old people exhibit memory lapses, they still have superior decision-making ability based on past experiences. That is, they know what works and what doesn’t, even if they can’t remember how they learned it. That applies most in the area of faith. Someone who has walked with God for many years is going to know that God will continue to walk them through to the end. God’s plan is that they tell of God’s faithfulness to those who haven’t yet had as much chance to learn it by experience. Old people sometimes have trouble understanding why they are still around. They need to grasp that there are tasks to do that are uniquely theirs, and rejoice to do them. I remember an aunt of mine, past 90, confined to bed and having lost her eyesight. When we visited her in the nursing home where she lived she said she didn’t know why God didn’t go ahead and take her home. Then, later in the conversation she was telling us about a grandson who had gone to the brink of divorce, but she had prayed for him and his wife, and the marriage was on the mend. I was able to point out to her that she had a ministry of prayer that was unique to her circumstances, and that she was still valuable in God’s kingdom. Christian old people in particular need to be encouraged to make full use of the gifts and opportunities that are uniquely theirs.

The hair on my head still doesn’t have much gray, though it is getting thinner, but my beard is nearly pure white. 66 doesn’t seem old today, but it it is well past the average life expectancy of even a century ago. I do continue a pretty active lifestyle, but I need to get my focus on transmitting God’s grace to succeeding generations. Few people around me have as close to a Biblical marriage, for example, as I do. I am not to be a boor, bragging about my marriage all the time, but I am to do all I can to transmit the Biblical principles that have blessed us so much. Maturity has brought me different priorities than what I see in many people, and I feel mine have been much more successful than those the world expects. Again, I am not to come across as bragging, but I am to share what God has taught me so that others may benefit. I’ve published one book and am working on another, and I have a blog with a growing clientele. I am not to take personal pride in any of that, but be grateful to God for the opportunities to share what He has poured out on me. I want to spare succeeding generations the effects of the mistakes I made!

Father, thank You again for Your amazing grace. Thank You that I have already outlived my father by a few years, and look to have quite a few more. May every one of them be spent doing what You have planned for me, communicating the good news of Your kingdom to all who will receive it, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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