One of my teachers in the United States, probably one of the smartest people I have ever met, decided to simplify his life after being retired for some time. He owned a large valuable library. He loved books. He gave them all away. And then he had a rare, truly precious stamp collection worth millions of dollars. He decided to sell it and donate the proceeds to a Christian service. But he trusted a bad person who robbed him and enriched himself. The contrast between my teacher and a man who selfishly sought his own benefit could not have been greater.
When I learned this, I realized that my teacher would be rich in heaven. He is already rich today. What he based himself on externally, his treasure, he exchanged for internal treasure. His heart became free. He was left with the most precious thing, Jesus. To me, he was a man who could age well.
Faith tested by fire
I would like to dwell on what aging well can mean.
Even during active old age, what applies throughout life: Without Christ, we can do nothing. A relationship with Jesus is strength for every day. The faith of a senior can be firm, tested by many situations. Such faith is no longer just theoretical and idealistic. It is connected to life, real events, people and relationships. It is a faith stronger than gold tested by fire (1 Peter 1:7). He clings to God in times of bad news. Faith carries through times of struggle and uncertainty. Faith in God’s Word, which is more reliable than threats.
But there can also be oozing wounds. Covered by bandages and camouflaged under clothing. Pain erodes trust in the Lord. The relationship with God does not have to be exhausted. It’s just hard to cling to the Lord, rest in him and rely on him. Often an elderly person has become accustomed to this condition. Although recovery would be possible, motivation is lacking. Rather, it is as if such a Christian has given up, accepted the way things are, and lives at half throttle. If he has to give testimony, it will be experiences from thirty, forty years ago. A living relationship with Christ is not an everyday reality.
It’s never too late to heal. God’s power in old age is no less. We just mustn’t settle for what we have and remove everything that stands in the way.
More than protecting your peace of mind
We may have the impression that many older people seem to be living longer. They could be useful, but they are not. Sure, strength runs out and health limitations come. But especially the first stage of old age is for many a time when they can be part of God’s work. But he must resist the temptation to live only for himself and his family. The Bible clearly says that even in old age it is possible to “bear fruit” (Psalm 92:14-16). Even in old age, God does not give us the strength to just enjoy life, but to show God’s faithfulness and reliability.
It is not easy to recognize when we can no longer do something. In old age, we can no longer overcome everything by will. We must respect our limitations. But everything is decided in our heart. If there is a desire to serve, we will find a way for it, in proportion to our strength. Therefore, even where our strength runs out, we serve him like Anna (L 2:37) – with celebration and prayers. The real test is…
What kind challenges of old age brings and what role does faith play in them? How stay open to the changing world and the people in it? Pavel is looking for answers to these and other questions Raus in in the November issue of Life of Faith with a theme the art of growing old. Dan writes about the fact that it is possible to enjoy old age and that it is not just about waiting for death He clawedreflections on birth and dying are joined by Rebecca McLaughlin. The topic complements the conversation about home hospice care with Pavlína Oubrecht.
The current issue also features an interview with the author of preventive programs called “Ethical Workshops” Eliška Krmelová. What was it like to make it through despite the skepticism of the school’s veterans, what the children sometimes surprise her with, and what she looks like lecturer’s silence? In the interview, Eliška also talks about how a recently converted friend brought her to faith or how Comenius scored points with children in Ukraine…
The November Life of Faith offers a diverse range of other articles and topics: How to understand God’s plans for Israel from the pen of Mojmír Kallus, a look back at the life of the founder of YWAM Loren Cunningham or evaluation Slovak elections Peter Kučera.
He will introduce the article about departure of Czech preachers to Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya; the virtual interview with the missionary KA Pácalt will transport the reader among the Hottentots in southern Africa.
There is also a testimony of struggle for life friend or book review about sexual identity.
In addition to the paper version, Life of Faith can be prepay also digitally and read it on the Internet and listen to it in audio form. This number can also be purchased separately – at paperin PDF and in MP3.
Author: Pavel Raus Date: November 10, 2023 Photo: Freepik serious