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With Age Comes Wisdom? Not Necessarily: Day 3

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.” Ecclesiastes 12:1

It began with my father falling. As the falls became more frequent, he began to sustain serious injuries. My mother was determined that she would care for him in their home, a choice that only took its toll on her strength. My insistence that they move, find a place where they could be safe and close to emergency help was met with stony silence. Gradually, I began to understand some of the fears that had become deeply rooted in their heart and mind: fear of the unknown, fear of the future, fear of leaving all that was familiar and comfortable.

What I didn’t accept for a long time was that these were not “my” parents. The processes of age that had affected their balance, dulled their senses and sapped their physical stamina had also affected their mental energy. And when I look back at the lessons of that time, it is the one I try to share with others, as a point of understanding and empathy, if nothing else.

Near the end, my mother who in her youth had been a beauty queen and a party girl, then a devoted wife, mother and home-maker, was full of worry. As she struggled to care for my father as she ignored her own failing health, she would have said of many days, “I find no pleasure in them.”

Maybe the key word is “will.” It is certain, should we live into old age, that the days will come when the joys of the past are only an uncertain memories, swallowed up in the ticking of the clock, the reaching for the next breath. And as we know, these realities come to all, the wise and the fool, the godly and the foolish alike.

According to Solomon, the time for the remembering of God, of choosing for Him and allowing Him to form us in His image, will have passed. Experts tell us that the statistics of those coming to faith in Christ decrease dramatically with age.

Don’t let that discourage you from praying for an unsaved older relative. But if you are one who has put off giving yourself to Christ until you are older, more virtuous, less busy with the “real world,” these words are for you.
Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts (Hebrews 4:7).

Nancy Shirah

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