“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” (Psalm 71:9)
The young man slew a bear, a lion, and a giant, the warrior became a valiant man, a king among his people. The old man simply asked not to be forgotten.
Many times, those who have been saved by the grace of God start out with great enthusiasm, they have been set free from the bondage of sin, and they want everyone to know who it was they met at the cross, who they followed from that empty tomb, and often their enthusiasm can be contagious. Perhaps it does not happen to each or all of us, but Satan notices this moment, and one of his greatest enjoyments is to attempt to show to this new follower of the Lord Jesus Christ that the world that he is attempting to leave is still there waiting for him, in fact even more of it.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Eph. 6:16) That shield is only useful if you hold it up, and those fiery darts will strike you every time you lower your guard.
The wonders of this world still have a shine on them to those who are saved, desires do not die at the cross, the flesh and all of its wants remain, and we are all like sheep my friends. There are many who knew this great emotionally uplifting feeling when they were first saved who now have forgotten it, the cares of the world were too much for the heart to bear. The feeling wanes, the Bible begins to gather dust, the flesh returns and compels us to search for that next feeling.
Only prodigal sons return home.
I have always wondered about Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” My beautiful wife attended a religious organization when she was very young only for a very few times, and if there was a saved person in that building I would be amazed. I went to one myself, a place called the Gospel Tabernacle with my grandmother, but only until I was perhaps five or six years old. Both of us led lives as rebellious sinners, and although I do not know what the age is in that verse, when each of us attained to it, we returned.
Has every single born-again believer been exposed in some way to the Lord at a very young age, some remaining, some becoming the prodigal son? I do not know, but in a small way I can understand what David was saying when the Holy Spirit used him to pen our opening verse.
An old man or woman can look back on their life and understand Psalm 8:4, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” They can look back and only wonder why the Lord decided to choose them, and in great humility they can ask the Lord to not leave them useless to His glory in their old age.
The enthusiasm of youthful exuberance knows little of waiting on the Lord, of the patience of the saints, of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” I do believe we have at least this in common, there is a fervency to reach others for His glory, but in the case of the aged it is because we can see the sunset of life.
We will witness to no one in heaven, there will be no need to lead others to Christ, to encourage the brethren, to reprove or correct. There will be no religious organizations to contend with. “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Prov. 16:31)
Be found there my friends, long before the gray hairs start to appear, and He may bless you with being used for His glory even unto your final breath.