It is interesting to read the Bible and see God using people of various ages to serve him. We sometimes say, “God can use anyone to accomplish his will”, and this is true. However, it is fascinating to read the Bible and notice that God often did some of his greatest work with those in their senior years. God commissioned Noah to build the ark and save the human race around his six- hundredth birthday (Gen. 7:6). Abram was seventy-five years old when God called him to leave his father’s house and become the father of many nations (Gen. 12:4). Moses was eighty years old when he was chosen as the leader of God’s people and sent before Pharaoh to perform miracles (Exod. 7:7). Caleb was eighty-five when he received his promised inheritance (Josh. 14:6-15). In the New Testament we read of servants like Simeon and Anna who lived long lives and were still serving God after many decades (Luke 2:25-38). Paul referred to himself as an old man, but he continued writing letters and encouraging others (Phile. 9). All of these examples remind us that as long as we’re alive God is not through using us to serve him and bless others.
Those in their senior years may not be able to do the things they use to do, but they are still valuable to the kingdom of God. Physical limitations might have caused them to slow down, but in Christianity the direction we are heading in is more important than the speed we are traveling. The Bible promises that those in their sunset years can still do mighty things for the Master and must not be pushed aside or put on the shelf (Psa. 71:9). Gray hair is a crown of glory for the those who are living a righteous life (Prov. 16:31). Rather than viewing the elderly as valueless, Israelites were commanded to stand up in the presence of their elders to honor them (Lev. 19:32). The psalmist begged for God’s continued presence in old age so he could tell of God’s power to another generation (Psa. 71:18-19). The righteous are promised that they will bear fruit even in their old age (Psa. 92:12-15).
In view of what the Bible teaches us about God’s use of senior saints and how they remain valuable assets to the kingdom of God, here are some ways we can show love and appreciation to the senior saints among us:
- Find ways to continue to use them in the Lord’s work.
- Listen to their wisdom and learn from their experience.
- Provide opportunities for them to interact with younger generations.
- Let them know they are appreciated and not overlooked or forgotten.
- Visit them and encourage them.
God can use anyone to accomplish his will, but he loves to use seniors! “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” (Isa. 46:4)