I’m celebrating a Jubilee year—50 years of ministry and 70 years of life!
To me, both of these are remarkable milestones—and such gifts from God. The longer I live, the more I see that God’s plan for each of us lasts for the entirety of life on earth—from birth to death.
The psalmist gives us this assurance: “But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, ‘The LORD is just! He is my rock!’” (Psalm 92:12–15). I may not always feel fresh and green, but I am grateful for a long and fruitful life. And I am grateful for so much more; God has been generous over my 70 years.
Many people’s first thoughts when talking about a long-lived life, though, are not on the gifts of aging. They’re often thoughts on loss or betrayal: loss of many hopes and dreams and relationships and betrayal by our bodies. When I asked my friend Debbie (57) for her thoughts on the “gifts of aging,” she didn’t reflect on the positive, but the negative. “Answers to your question easily came to my mind regarding what is horrible about aging,” she says. “Hot flashes, weight gain, lack of stamina, lack of sleep, losing normal words in the middle of a sentence—and the list could go on!”1