“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)
The elderly do not always desire to be young again, nor do they always look to their past with fondness, but to those who can quite clearly see the sunset of their life approaching, for all there is little hope of ever returning to the days of vitality and vigor. The body begins to fail, the simplest of tasks become a burden, and few people face this truth with anticipation. “Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” (Psalm 71:9)
I have always enjoyed reading about the life of David, starting off in life with joyful anticipation, ending it with the need for assistance even to stay warm. Fighting battles with strength and determination, being told to stay home because that strength is leaving him, but above all, a man who sought the face of God for the glory of God.
There is a particular verse in the Psalms that has always struck me as the end of David’s life, not when he physically died, but the one found in Psalm 72:20,
“The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.”
He stopped writing, he put down his utensils for making words appear.
Any of us who have been called by God, who are chosen by Him to glorify His Holy name in whatever form He chooses understands these words and look upon the moment when we have completed the task with anticipation, for it means that we will be going home soon. “Long life” is a promise found in the Scriptures from the Lord that is associated with those He has blessed with wisdom, and I believe that all who have been so blessed look at that promise in the same way that Paul did when he said, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” (Phil. 1:23)
Every one of us wants to go home, wants to be finished with the work, for with it comes much sorrow and grief, and although it never becomes a burden, it can be extremely frustrating at times.
We envision ourselves standing just off to the side of the opening of hell itself, watching as millions plunge headlong into the abyss, pleading, yelling, begging them to hear the truth of the love of God for them, of the salvation offered to them, of the promises of eternal life, while they willingly jump into eternal damnation. If they could see and hear those already in that place of torment perhaps, they would listen to them, perhaps not, man has an incredible sense of selfish pride within himself, he has always believed that he knows best.
The longer we stand there, the more we see the truth of Luke 16:31, “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” It does not become more difficult to continue on with the work the Lord has set before us, to reach all who will listen, but the truth becomes more apparent to us, for few will find that narrow gate.
If you have spent any number of years speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ to others, you understand these words, you know the frustration, you have experienced firsthand those who have rejected Him and died in their sins, and in your mind’s eye you can see them on fire, begging, screaming, pleading for another chance.
As I have grown older, I have become much more adamant about the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers through faith in His precious shed blood, of the grace and mercy of God to all who will come to Him. I have to, when you can see people on fire, you react.
Stand on that precipice and look down, find the face of one you once knew who now resides in eternal suffering, then look upon that massive crowd that is heading towards the same fate. You do not have to be old to understand these words, only desirous to seek the lost.