“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (Ps 92:12-15)
The Cedar of Lebanon is a beautiful evergreen tree that grows on the mountains of Lebanon, Israel and Turkey. It starts to flower late, when it is about 30 years old. The oldest trees found in Lebanon are more than 1000 years. These are symbols of fruitful old age, mature spiritual men and women, serving God and His people in the church.
In the secular world old age is something to be dreaded. This is because most young people fear to lose strength and beauty. I still remember how I felt as a teenager. For me, a person in his forties was ‘old’. I felt sorry that life has passed them by. I thought that old men have no hope. I hated to think of the future for that future included the fearful mystery called old age. When my parents retired from teaching, I felt sorry for them. Staying at home every day seems like punishment. Some old people were happy to retire so that they have more time to pursue their hobbies. But most retirees got old quick and did not enjoy their season of harvest on earth.
When I became a believer, I had to reevaluate all my definitions and principles. My understanding of all things pertaining to life had to be based on the Word of God. My Romanian background, my family values and the culture I come from, all these had to bow to the Word of God. The mind of Christ overwhelmed them all. I discovered that old men in the Bible are at least as useful as the younger generation. I also discovered that God has a plan and a purpose for each season in our lives. The grace of God does not diminish as we get older. There is no retirement from serving God. I am impressed with the fruitful life of old servants of God like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Caleb, Daniel, Simeon, Ana, Zechariah and Elizabeth, and many others. Apostle Paul calls himself ‘an old man’ (Philemon 1:9) but he still writes letters to others, travels and does ministry unto the end.
In the church, there is always need for older men and women to lead, counsel, teach and mentor the younger generation. An older preacher who is on fire for the Lord is a treasure to be cherished. He knows the Word of God and he has life experience on his side. The older people have more time to study the Word of God, to pray, fast and intercede, to encourage others thru Emails and phone calls. Because their material needs are less, many old people have extra money that can be used in blessing others in need. Also, they can open their houses to practice the ministry of home fellowships. Therefore this is the best time to invest in their heavenly account.
This is the conclusion: God can use any man or woman who is willing to serve Him! The young and the old! We can’t stop the aging process but we can be renewed daily and retain a young fresh active and joyful spirit to continue ministry (2Cor 4:16). It is only death that should stop us from doing ministry on earth. Let the younger generation learn to respect the old saints and submit to their wisdom and anointing. Let the older people continue to serve God! As for me and my household, we shall worship and serve God to the end!
In Christ I declare:
With long life God will satisfy me and show me His salvation!
My spirit shall be fresh and fruitful even in my old age!
I am a teacher, a mentor and a mother in Zion to the younger generation!
My body gets older but my spirit is renewed daily!
I honor and respect the older saints and mentors from whom I’ve learned so much!
I shall declare the wonderful works of God to the end!
For as long as I have breath, I shall preach the Word of God!
My life shall give glory to God unto my last breath on earth!
In Jesus name