O Lord, you alone are my hope.
I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.
Yes, you have been with me from birth;
From my mother’s womb you have cared for me.
No wonder I am always praising you!
My life is an example to many,
Because you have been my strength and protection.
That is why I can never stop praising you;
I declare your glory all day long.
And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside.
Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing.
Age is just a number. Well, you couldn’t convince me back in the early eighties while modeling and approaching twenty-five. The modeling industry considered that over the hill, and they picked the hill. Thankfully, as I am approaching six decades, numbers have become just that, numbers. Funny how our mindset changes as we age. I have come to realize that with each passing day, heaven with Him draws a little closer, and because of Him, death wraps no chains around me. I am free with Thee!
Even though we are growing older, some of us die young. In contrast, some are dead before they die. Let’s face it, growing older is inevitable, but for those who love deeply, they just seem younger. As we grow in the grace of the Lord, standing in his shadow, we spiritually mature, and this keeps us young at heart. On the other hand, we can be numerically older, but still living like an immature infant without the slightest concern for the sovereignty of God. No one can make you come off the baby formula and eat solid foods, it’s up to you to uncover your God-designed purpose for life.
While we cannot make a person mature, we can offer an example, encourage, and educate. Oh, how wonderful walking with the wisdom of others. Sitting at the feet of mentors, pouring out Godly wisdom to my hungry ears.
Proverbs 13:20 teaches, “Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.” What great wisdom! Job 12:12 says, “Wisdom is with the aged, understanding in length of days.”
As a fitness instructor for almost four decades, I can see the importance of strength training in my own body. It is so important to lift weights at least 2-3 times a week. If we are not physically strong, our body weakens and breaks down. How can we do what God has planned if we are broken down and weak? Yes, God can do anything, but will we honor Him?
Spiritual fitness is even more important. Strengthen our spiritual muscles each day by reading and memorizing His written Word. Communicate with Him through prayer and let Him speak to your heart. We say we want to grow closer to Him, but are we willing to act and walk in His Spirit and Truth? I promise you will be spiritually stronger if you exercise your Faith daily!
My belief is never set limitations on what you can do. My Senior Fitness Students are living examples of growth and maturity in physical and spiritual health. In fact, two of my students continue to work multiple days per week in her late seventies and the other in her eighties. They both have experienced challenging times and I have watched them rely on the strength of the Lord. I have watched them hold a 2- minute plank, swing kettle bells, balance on a stability ball, and lift weights. They don’t flinch at anything I throw at them.
My calling is to keep encouraging them to be all they can be physically and spiritually! Both ladies are prayer warriors, truly a testimony to aging gracefully in the strength of the Lord!
God has called us to care for others, encourage, and lift those who are downtrodden, especially widows and the elderly. 1 Timothy 5:3-4 reminds us, “Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.”
During a recent filming of Project Volunteer, a show which demonstrates what it is like to walk in the shoes of a volunteer for a day, we visited two nursing homes. I am embarrassed to say it had been a while since visiting a nursing home and had no idea what to expect. A local church had adopted the nursing home and visit regularly, singing worship songs, reading the Word of God, and praying with the residents. We helped them plant flowers outside on the beautiful sunny day.
I was mesmerized listening to one nice lady talking about her experiences growing up in Germany. In vivid details she explained how her grandfather helped many Jewish families escape Hitlers’ regime. With tears trickling down her face, it was obvious the memories were still fresh and tender to the touch. Her grandfather narrowly escaped to America and chose Kentucky as his home. The memories included the rows of children shoes, abandoned clothing, and box cars of bodies piled on top of one another to the ceilings. All explained while planting a beautiful purple flower in the garden.
She glowed as she thanked the volunteers for visiting. Oh, how she touched my heart.
While victimhood seems to be in vogue, Christ reminds us we are victors in Him!
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37
So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me.
Until I proclaim your might to another generation,
Your power to all those to come.
We can be difference makers for Jesus. While we are there, the clusters of wisdom are ripe and ready to be picked from the vines growing closest to Jesus.