Would you like to hear some good news about getting older? According to the Bible, your older years are time for flourishing.
It’s a legitimate concern to worry about getting older as things wrinkle, energy wanes, eyesight blurs, and memories fade. But don’t worry, while the youthfulness has faded, there is still plenty of time, energy, and fruitfulness for you. The Bible tells us we can flourish like a well-watered tree.
Do you want to see the good news in the Bible about getting older?
Psalm 92 tells us we will flourish as we age.
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock. ~ Psalm 92:11-15a
These verses encourage me! The declaration that we can flourish, grow, bear fruit, stay fresh and green while praising God is exactly how I want to picture life in the next few decades.
But what’s the catch? If it was easy, everyone would do it, right? The secret is right there in the first line where the Psalmist describes who will do all this flourishing: the righteous.
What is righteous? Does this mean that just a few Old Testament heroes or modern-day super saints get to flourish as they age while the rest of us decline less gracefully. Does it mean perfect, sinless living is necessary to claim the promise of flourishing as get older?
I don’t think so. For one thing, most of the heroes in the Old Testament were sinners just like us; and Jesus is the only one who was ever perfect and sinless. I think this is a promise for everyone who walks with God.
Let’s look at another Psalm that pictures a tree by a stream of water.
Psalm 1 shows us how to walk with God and prosper.
Psalm 1:1-3 describes a righteous life.
How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams
that bears its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers. ~ Psalm 1:1-3
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin. ~ Psalm 1:6
Jeremiah 17 tells us those who trust in the Lord need not fear or worry.
The person who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed.
He will be like a tree planted by water:
it sends its roots out toward a stream,
it doesn’t fear when heat comes,
and its foliage remains green.
It will not worry in a year of drought
or cease producing fruit. ~ Jeremiah 17:7-8
The Bible is full of good news about getting older. These three images of a tree with watered roots picture a righteous, prospering, flourishing life.
You are in your spiritual prime.
Can you see that your years of walking with Jesus have added up? All those years of reading your Bible, trusting Jesus in hard times, being in community with other believers, and bearing fruit in other’s lives have accumulated into a life marked with spiritual moxie.
Don’t think for one minute that you are past your prime. You are a grandparent in your spiritual prime.
To recap the good news in the Bible about getting older:
- Psalm 92 tells us that we will flourish and bear fruit as we age.
- Psalm 1 shows us how to walk with God, and prosper.
- Jeremiah 17 tells us those who trust in the Lord need not fear or worry.
- You are in your spiritual prime and your family needs you to be like a well-watered tree.
Pray with me:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the picture of being like a tree by a steam of water that flourishes and prospers. I want to flourish as I age. I want to be a tree that gives shade and bears fruit in old age. I ask you for it, Lord, that I will flourish as I walk with you for the rest of my life.