My mother likes to say, “Growing old isn’t for sissies.” In other words, it takes courage and strength to grow old gracefully.
Many people talk about how they dislike growing older. It is true that as we get older we cannot physically do some of the things we used to, or we may begin having “senior moments” of forgetfulness, etc. And I do agree that our mind and bodies are aging and wearing out from use, however, I do not agree with the fact that we have to just lay down and give up living life fully just because we’ve been on this earth for more than a half of a century.
I have recently entered what I call the “fabulous fifties.” By faith I’m declaring this into existence and endeavoring to live it out mentally and physically every day. I also believe that resting in the Father’s love is a huge asset to growing older with grace. To me, this is what I feel aging is all about — growing in grace and love. (2 Peter 3:18)
Grace and Love
There are stages we move through as Christians: little children, young men, and fathers (1 John 2); and part of growing and maturing is becoming more secure in Father’s love and having the ability to extend grace to yourself and others. What does this look like? It could be being very patient with those who don’t do things the way you do, or who take longer than you’d like. Or maybe having to explain or repeat something over and over again because someone doesn’t understand. Extend grace upon grace. (John 1:6) Maturing can also be depicted by the fruits of the Spirit expressed in your daily life.
As we mature from little children into fathers, this is exemplified by showing God’s love to those around us — with coworkers, friends, family, even strangers. In our hearts I think we all want to share His love with everyone we meet, but we don’t always. We are all still growing. No one has arrived at perfection yet so extend grace to yourself too.
So the question really is, are we still growing? Are we actively seeking to receive God’s love and give it away to everyone we meet? Are we seeking to extend grace to ourselves and others on a daily basis? We’re all in process but at least I have a goal. If I don’t even have a target, I — for sure — will not hit it.
I don’t want to just grow old, I want to grow older in grace and love. And, like my mother says, this does take courage and strength — the courage and strength that comes from His love and security. Resting in Father’s love enables me to be secure in my faults and failings, yet bold in my trials and attempts to represent Him to the world. So whether you’re a 20-something, or a “white cap,” whatever age we are, we’re never too old to grow in God.