By Warren Olson
I heard a story about a group of children who visited a retirement home. They were talking with some of the residents when one of the children walked up to a particular lady and said, “Excuse me ma’am. Can I ask you a question? How old are you?”
The woman gave a joyful smile and proudly told the young lady, “Well, since you asked, I’m 98 years old.”
The little girl was clearly impressed, and her eyes grew big with wonder after hearing the woman’s incredible answer. She paused for a minute to think, and then asked, “Did you start at one?”
When we’re very young, we might as well have an infinite number of days ahead of us. Reaching an old age like 98 seems so distant. But somewhere around 40 or 50, we begin to realize there are likely more days behind us than there are ahead of us.
For many, this is the beginning of a very anxious stage of life. And as the years continue to go by, our health deteriorates, life becomes harder, and we’re faced with the reality that our time here on earth is growing shorter and shorter.
We have a choice in these autumn years of our lives. We can either live in fear and worry over the struggles of aging—or we can choose to embrace the life God intends, living each day courageously for the Lord and making it our commitment to love and serve Him with every breath He gives us.
You see, physical decline comes with life. We can’t avoid it. Even those who empty their pockets on the latest and greatest remedies against aging eventually face this truth. And as we manage that physical decline, it’s easy to become inundated with worrisome thoughts like, “How do I pay my medical bills?” and “Who is going to take care of me?” It can be daunting.
But one thing that’s for sure is this: worrying about your problems isn’t going to change your situation. It’s just like Jesus told us in Matthew 6:27, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
The answer is absolutely not! In fact, fear robs you of the joy Jesus wants you to have in Him and can harm your health in the long run. Fear has absolutely no benefit!
So what do you do when you’re paralyzed with fear and worry about what’s ahead? You focus on the Lord. Stay busy in serving Him through your church and wherever He has you. Realize that until your last breath, you are a missionary sent into this world to tell others about His grace and goodness!
And if the thought of passing away leaves you anxious, take solace in the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:7-8, “For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
Your greatest reward—eternity with Jesus—lies ahead of you. On that day, your pains, griefs, and hardships will be gone forever if you’re in Christ. So when you feel fear about getting older, press on in serving the Lord and trust in His promise to take you home with Him forever.