By: Deacon Mary Delancey
We’ve all probably heard the saying that old age isn’t for sissies. Any of us who have reached our senior years know that with aging comes many challenges, and we can feel that we just aren’t up to those challenges.
Because of the pandemic, we’re facing a “new normal” that we neither want nor understand. We grieve the loss of our routines, our comforts, and often, our connections. The world seems to be changing around us at an alarming speed.
And changes are happening not just around us but within us. Memory isn’t what it used to be. We can’t always recall information that used to come to us easily. Familiar names, the location of our keys, maybe even the words of long-loved songs are harder to recall. When this happens we can become embarrassed or even fearful. Our bodies are no longer able to do all that they once did. We’re not as limber or as fast as we once were. We may even be facing chronic health problems.
This is not the bleak picture it can appear at first. It can be a time of growth. But first, we must become aware of our vulnerability. We may want to live as if there is never anything that will go wrong for us as we age. This is just not true. We live in a fallen world and until Jesus returns there will be hardships, disease, and death.
When we accept our vulnerability we can let go of our own need for control. Up until now, we may have been able to maintain the illusion that we were in control of our lives, we have lived in our own strength and sufficiency. Now, if we acknowledge our vulnerability, we recognize that we can lean on God for strength that is unimaginably more than we can comprehend. God’s power is found when we listen to Him speak into our struggles. God simply wants us to surrender our inadequacy to him so that He can fill us with His strength.
These past few weeks in our Old Testament lectionary readings we’ve heard stories about Moses, most recently stories from the time Moses led God people through the desert to the Promised Land. Have you ever thought about Moses’s age when God called him to lead His people on that 40-year journey? Moses was 80 years old! An example that our value does not diminish in God’s eyes as we age. Moses acknowledged his insufficiency to be a leader – his inexperience, his ineloquence, and his unwillingness. And God told him, “I will be with you,” and gave Moses what he needed.
In the next, and last, “Aging with Grace” we will explore what it is to be called to serve God in our later years and to continue to grow in His love. My prayer for our next part of the journey is this, Paul’s prayer for spiritual strength from his letter to the Ephesians (3:14-17a,20-1): According to the riches of God’s glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.