12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar on the hills of Lebanon; 13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord, will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” Psalm 92, 14

 

Dear readers,

 

What a wonderful thought: Even in old age still to blossom like a tree in Spring, to be fertile and fresh. Who wouldn´t like such a scenario?  However, reality in life usually looks different. The preacher Solomon knew what age could bring. In the biblical book “Ecclesiastes (chap. 12, 1 - 6/7)” he states this:

 

1 Do remember your Creator already in the days of your young age,  still before troublesome days arrive and the years get close, where you will say:  “I find no pleasure in them”— 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; 4 when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; 5 when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets. 6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, 7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

 

Of course there are examples of those vital seniors who still travel actively through the country on a Harley-Davidson at the age of 75 plus. And of course, there are seniors who stay young at heart and are still dancing. But at some point in life those days will arrive "which we do not like any longer “

 

Before the Corona pandemic, I volunteered to lead a Bible discussion group in a nursing home. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible because of the danger of infection. Once a week I met with old people and people in need of care. About 15 men and women came to hear the Word of God. They were all in their 80ies. Their life stories were quite exciting. There were former engineers, merchants, civil servants sitting in front of me. Back then they were dynamic individuals, now they had to be brought in a wheelchair.

 

But they all were united in one desire:  To have fellowship with each other and with the Lord Jesus Christ. We sang together old chorales, prayed, celebrated Holy Communion, listened to a Bible word. A psalm, a parable of Jesus, a letter from the New Testament. And I had to accompany one out of our circle on his last journey, again and again.

 

In this circle I understood what the apostle Paul says (2.Cor. 4, 16): “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

 

How true and valid this is! Even if our outer body is decomposing more and more from year to year and one day will be completely faded away like an old house, our inner body is renewed from day to day by the Spirit of God. He carries eternal life within himself. I was witness on the deathbed of an old lady where I was allowed to experience this "inner renewal".

 

Whoever has been planted in God's garden of faith grows from day to day toward his eternity with God. He grows heavenward. He will continue to remain fresh and green in faith like an evergreen tree. For the living God provides for him. What God once planted, he wants to have with him in eternity. That he nurtures.

 

May the Lord surround you with his love like with a warm coat. May he protect you and strengthen you in faith in Jesus Christ.

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