“And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” (Deut. 34:7)
I have seen men whose hands once held steel, who had callouses on their callouses now doing all within the strength left to them to move a walker just one more step. I have seen elderly women who once ran to meet those they loved now using a cane to ensure their next step.
“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” (Gen. 3:22)
Two main trees in the garden of Eden, only one commandment.
Mankind does not grow old, feel pain and frustration, watch his body deteriorate whilst being able to do nothing about it because of a cleaner, purer atmosphere in the youthful days of the earth, but because of sin. Sin destroys the flesh and from time immemorial the desire of man has been to live forever, without the loss of his youthful exuberance, without pain, without suffering, without the fear of death. Moses was just as strong as he was in his youth when he walked up the mountain to be buried by the Lord, he could have sprinted up there.
That, if the Almighty determines that you should live many years, will more than likely not happen for you. “And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.” (Gen. 15:15)
Although the death of His saints is precious in the eyes of the Lord, the cessation of the flesh means nothing to Him, He can create and destroy as He pleases, He can withhold the aging forces or allow it to slowly fade in strength. This is His choice, not ours. Our choice is how we accept what He brings into our lives.
Men who lived strong lives, lives in and for the world and self, who carried iron, steel and stone to build the great edifices of this planet have much difficulty when that strength fails, when hands can no longer grip tools with confidence, when the temple begins to shake and the eye dims, for pride flees from the man who grows weak with age and a hatred of the flesh that will no longer obey his will many times begins to fester in his heart.
“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” (Psalm 71:9)
The world despises the elderly, but to the Lord, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Prov. 16:31)
If you have walked many miles for the Lord and now have difficulty going up those stairs, if you have toiled with your strength for His glory and now find that strength fading and being replaced with pain, if you still desire to serve Him with whatever strength you have left to offer Him, He will find a way for you to do that. I know, He has given me a pen and paper, and that is enough.
If you can no longer run the race, walk it, if you can no longer walk, crawl towards Him, with whatever strength you have left, seek the face of God continuously. Live with the pain He allows, fight against the frustrations, give yourself willingly to His will, and you will find there is still a place for you to serve.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11)
That moment will arrive, it may be on your way to work, it may be as you sit to eat your evening meal, as you sit and ponder His ways, it may come after many years of struggling with a body that no longer obeys you, but it will arrive. The real question for you is are you anticipating it with unspeakable joy in no matter what form it appears?
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)