Thursday, March 30th, 2017
Self-Examination (Part 9)
O God, You have taught me from my youth,
And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.
And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come
Psalm 71:17-18 (NASB)
A gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness.
Proverbs 16:31 (NASB)
They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and very green...
Psalm 92:14 (NASB)
You will come to the grave in full vigor,
Like the stacking of grain in its season.
Job 5:26 (NASB)
A smiling doctor spoke of the P-pack, a three-part punch that can hit older men: presbyopia, prostatitis and philosophy (the last bringing the smile). Women can also feel the first P's pinch, since presbyopia is aging eyes.
Often, aging eyes become far-sighted. Lots of lines get blurry on the edges, but the ones nearest to us--most of all. It's caused by losing flexibility, because the eye's zoom lens starts to harden. Yet I see presbyopia's bright side. Maybe some things require a softer look, like when we scrutinize other people to find fault with every line we don't like.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As one aging saint to all others... We are growing in one of two ways.
1) We're growing in wisdom and stature, realizing life is a process. We're maturing trees bearing good fruit: like love, joy, peace, patience and kindness; goodness, faithfulness and gentleness. We prune and strengthen our production with applications of self-control. Rather than bitter, we grow sweeter.*
2) We're growing in dullness and disease, shriveling in brittle crankiness. We're deadening trees with fruitless limbs. The small amount of fruit barely left is infected and inedible. We offer no shelter, shade or food. We become good-for-nothing eyesores, while thorny vines stake their angry claim. Instead of sweeter, we grow bitter.
Note to self and other aging saints: When our physical eyes lose sharpness, may our hearts, minds and mouths gain kindness. Only by growing up in Jesus will our lives yield spiritual fruit, a.k.a. growing old gracefully.
To Be Continued...
* In Galatians 5:19-23, please note both the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which will become increasingly evident in 'Trees of righteousness' (Isaiah 61:3)... and the diseased fruit of a life disconnected from Christ, where the Vineyard Keeper's likely choice is chopping down, uprooting and destruction by fire. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galatians5%3A19-23&version=NASB
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.