“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” (Psalm 71:9)
There is little difference in the aged than there is in the days of youth for some when it comes to the fervency of serving the Lord, there is only, in most cases, a great divide in Spiritual discernment. The experiences of a longer life that the Almighty brings and allows to come upon us cannot be compared to those who have not been blessed with them, but that fervency we speak of in the aged must be modified, the grinders will cease, the towers will tremble, yet the heart that desires to still serve grows stronger, more resilient towards the wiles of the devil, better aware of the ways of the world, and more tired of the evil that is easier to see.
We can see the truth of both Psalm 139:21-22, “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.” as well as “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matt. 5:44)
The young have the greater advantage in strength, but their greatest strength is not yet fined tuned, if you will, they have not yet learned patience in tribulation. Those who have been in the service of the Almighty for many decades have not always served well, but we have the advantage that the young do not have, we know where the pitfalls are, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Cor. 2:11)
The Scriptures teach that the old are to teach the young, the difficulty comes from the young that will not adhere to those truths, who believe they know the way on a path they have not yet traversed. It is this strength they believe they possess that causes many a young man and woman of God to fall when they could have stood.
I am not saying that you, if you are young, should listen to and apply all that you receive from the aged, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Prov. 16:31) and sadly many are not. They can inform you of much of the ways of the world, but add little Spiritual truths with them, for they have not submitted themselves fully to the Holy Spirit in their walk of life.
The sayings of the aged who have indeed presented their bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord are many times hard to hear, but they are lessons well learned, and if you have tested the spirits and found this man or woman of God to be just that, one whose life has been devoted to the glory of God, then you would be wise to listen to their words. They have fallen, more than seven times, they have sinned greatly in the eyes of the Lord, their heart has been broken more than once because of it, they know where many of the traps of our adversary have been placed.
There is no competition in their words as they speak to you, no pride of self as they inform you of the wisdom they have been blessed with, they seek only to lift up the name of Jesus Christ our Lord in the few days left that He has allotted to them, and by listening to them you will gain wisdom beyond your age.
It is the great desire of these aged wise individuals to see the young pick up the banner of the Lord after they have departed from here, that they too would not seek for self but for the face of God.
In youth is pride, in the aged as physical strength begins to fail, pride is a useless commodity, an abhorrence to them, for the race is coming to an end, and their prayer is that the Lord would carry them across the finish line and beyond. This life looks quite different to those who see the sun coming up over the horizon then it does to those watching it set.
If you are young, seek these older people of God out, listen to them, apply in your life what they speak to you, their hope is in Christ, and in that you will pick up the banner after they have gone on to glory.