Today is one of those “big” birthdays for a dear friend. She is 30. Another close friend turns 40 this month. A couple just hit 50. My grandparents each at 90. And my daughter now 16. All significant birthdays. All occassions for celebration, but also reflection, anticipation and sometimes trepidation.
As I’ve visited with a few of these ladies and others, plus thought about my own experience in moving from one decade to the next, I think its interesting to consider why we either become excited or depressed about a new age.
One of the obvious drawbacks is AGING – the physical ailments, limitations, changes and eventually death. But I think with our culture so obsessed with being forever young we forget all the wonderful blessings that come with aging and instead of embracing who we are, we are constantly coming up with new ways to cover up.
Here is some of what the Bible says:
“Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained in a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:31
“Wisdom is with the aged,
and understanding in length of days.” Job 12:12
“They (the righteous) still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green…” Psalm 92:14
“So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6
“Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated.” Deut. 34:7
How beautiful to view aging this way! To esteem wisdom that is gained only through the accumulation of life’s events, trials and tribulations. To consider our days lived for the Lord with great purpose and to still find significance in them. To think though we become physically weaker we are still full of life and bearing fruit. To see our grey and wrinkles as “crowns of glory.”
This is the perspective I hope to hang on to – beauty growing with age, wisdom in weathering the storms.
It actually explains why I would not turn back time to an earlier age. Because even though I am not truly seasoned in life, I still see so much more clearly now things I didn’t a decade ago. Idols, really, that used to consume or drive me. Fears and worries that occupied too much space in my head. By no means have I graduated from that nor will I until glory, but again how beautiful to think how 10 more years of growth and time will continue changing me.
So to my friends being celebrated this month- Behold the glory of the Lord and let His radiance shine in and through you day by day, year by year.