“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” – 1 Peter 1:6-7
Can I be middle-aged already? Really? Middle age” has been described as that period of life that you never want to enter and you never want to leave. Midlife brings new insecurities and awakenings to long-dormant regrets. Many of us face empty nests and the prospect of, in effect, starting over with spouses. Many of us face the reality of aging parents and any fears or worries or responsibilities that come with that. And of course, we daily face the reality of lost youth, waning strength, and more difficult processes for maintaining health. Time moves a lot faster the older you get. Doesn’t sound all that good, does it?
Joshua 13:1 (KJV) addressed this subject: “Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” The “old and stricken” is not very reassuring, but it does remind us there is a lot left to do regardless of our age. Psalm 92: 14 confirms this: “Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.” In midlife, as in every stage of life, there are things we wish we had done. Fortunately, Christ doesn’t change our past, He redeems it. He is faithful to do that. He does not judge us by our actions but by His own, freely given to us in love.
In midlife, Christ is a companion through all the worries and stresses. As we get more serious about our health each decade we don’t have the strength and energy we did at 25. But Jesus is as strong as He’s ever been, and wherever we have to go or do, He will go with us. He will never leave me or forsake me.
In midlife, we have the opportunity to transfer some of our hard-earned wisdom to those coming along behind us. There are younger people seeking their way in life that we can mentor or minister to. They will benefit from people who can share their life experiences.
If you’re reaching middle age, work to continue strengthening your relationship with Jesus. He’ll be always there, waiting for you. Imagine yourself in those days of thinning hair, stubborn paunch, creaky bones, and joints, callouses of hand, and scars of heart, walking closely with the Lord. It will make middle age something to savor.
- What are your fears about old age? You can get wiser as you get older. What mistakes do you recall making in your younger days? What did God teach you? What would you do differently now?