The Blaze of Old Age

For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.” “They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.” Job 14:7-9; Psalm 92:14

There is something captivating about the blazing sky at sunset, the contrast between what I feel, winding down as productive hours have passed, and the magnificent fiery display of the sun’s last breath of day. Although it will soon dip to disappear from my view, it burns on, swathing the west with breath-taking red glory, illuminating our senses to delight. My energy may wane, but the sun burns vivid, colorful.

Yesterday I read a beautiful obituary of a 94-year-old man of God, husband for 73 years, pioneer missionary to several countries in Africa for over 50. He blazed fully and long into his sunset, and innumerable lives were touched and transformed by the light he spread. Isn’t this God’s intent for His own? As age marches on, we can ‘come inside’ and choose to give in to lesser pursuits, to smaller worlds, to limited mobility, to confined activity, to selfish comforts, to sighing; or we can redeem the time we have and choose to keep blazing, spreading abroad the honors of Jesus’ name and love, investing in relationships, serving others, giving with abandon, pressing on. “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” (Isaiah 46:4)

Our lives are fleeting; only God knows the number of our years, our days, and all He has appointed for us in that time. But He gives wisdom and grace to understand the times and for every hour, and has plans to accomplish in and through us as long as we are here. For every moment we have breath, we have purpose, and must do what we can to maintain our vigor and keep burning bright. Though flesh and heart may fail, God is our strength, our zeal, and our joy that cannot be contained. (Job 23:14; 27:3-6; Psalm 39:4; 73:26; Isaiah 33:6)

Father, as the day of life wears on and the sun descends, keep coloring my world with Your light, and blazing in holy beauty for others to see. May the divine glory of Your vast love, Your saving mercy and truth emanate from me all my days, all my hours, that my life proclaim Your might and salvation to the next generation, Your power to all those to come. When my strength is spent, power on in and through me. Please crown my years with Your bounty, to the praise of Your glorious name forever. (Psalm 71:9,18; 65:11)

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