A Letter To My Aging Friends: God’s Not Done With You Yet.

I hope you realize something.

I hope you realize that I see you.

I hear you.

I know.

I see you when you are frustrated because your hands don’t work the same way they used to. You can’t open jars anymore. You can’t play the piano like you used to. You can’t knit anymore. You can’t use your drill to fix things. You can’t even hold silverware to eat.

I see you when you want to cry because you forgot something important. You can’t remember that memory that you told yourself you’d never forget. You can’t remember what you needed at the store. You can’t remember the recipe you used to be so famous for. You can’t remember the days as they pass by, because they all seem to run together. Each day is as boring as the next.

I see you when you are sitting on the toilet helpless and embarrassed that you can’t use the bathroom by yourself. You never thought you’d reach that point. You never thought you’d need someone to put on gloves before they touched you, as if you were too filthy to touch with bare hands. You never thought a bowel movement would keep you from going about your day-to-day life like normal.

I see you when you are afraid. You are ready to pass into the next life, but you are afraid of the final step. You have nightmares at night that keep you from sleeping. You cry yourself to sleep because you feel so alone.

I hear you when you tell me, “I wouldn’t wish a stroke on my worst enemy.” You mean every word you say, because you hate being treated different. You hate it when people use a baby voice on you, as if you didn’t understand what they were saying. You tell me your daddy used to play guitar. You played guitar too, but that was before the stroke.

I hear you singing. I’ve been past your room and heard you belting out the words, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know who holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.” I know you mean every word.

I hear you laugh about good memories. You laugh about how you met your spouse. You grin when you reminisce about how old you were when you were married. Your spouse passed on twelve years ago. You’ve learned a lesson the hard way: “always say ‘I love you’ because you never know when you will see your loved ones again.”

I hear you tell me all the time how awful it is to get old. You tell me about your grandchildren. You tell me they aren’t being smart about their life. You are worried, because they aren’t making good choices. You tell me that they don’t listen to your advice. They don’t understand that you’ve ‘been there’ and you were their age once too.

I see you. I hear you. And I know.

I know, because I love you. I died for you. Dear child, I have ordained every single day of your life. I have a purpose for you. I’m not done with you yet. You are on the earth still for a reason. I have given you what is best for you. Don’t forget that I am all powerful, but also all loving.

You don’t understand how not being able to use the bathroom on your own could possibly be a good thing. You might think you’d be better off if you could use your hands again. But trust me. I know what is best for you. I know it’s hard. I know sometimes you think you’d be better off dead. Don’t ever believe that. There is a reason why I give you life every morning.

I know how you hurt when you feel like no one respects your opinions anymore. I know how much you want your kids and grandkids to sit and listen to you. Don’t stop talking to them. Give them your advice. Give them your wisdom. I have you in their lives for a reason and it’s not just so you can give them your money. They need you. I am using you to speak truth into their lives.

I will always listen to you. Tell me about your problems. Come to me with your burdens. Bring me the worries about your loved ones. I will sustain you. Ask me for more joy. Ask me to take away your fear. Fight for the people in your church and home who are suffering. Come to me when you are lonely. I want to talk to you. In fact, I already wrote back to you in response.

Don’t you think that if I loved you enough to die for you, I would love you enough to know what is best?

Dear one, don’t ever forget that every breath, every heartbeat, and every function of every organ in your body is a gift from me to you. I’m not done shaping you into who I want you to be. I’m not done with you yet.

18 thoughts on “A Letter To My Aging Friends: God’s Not Done With You Yet.

  1. Absolutely outstanding observation and understanding of your elders expressed from your heart. Thank you…Marti

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  2. Very good as far as it goes, but it stops short of a truly biblical response to growing old. Surely the Lord would remind the older person of their value to Him and the respect He has commanded His people to show them. He would remind them of the innate dignity that is their’s as people made in His image and redeemed by the Blood of Christ. He would reinforce the fact that they are useful even in growing frailty, and that He has left them in this world because they have yet valuable service to do for Him. And so He would go on with the many positive values and assessments that the Scriptures bring to us about our later and last years. Biblically old age is hard and demanding but it is also very rewarding and a time of new insights into the love of God.

    Roger – England

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    1. “He would reinforce the fact that they are useful even in growing frailty, and that He has left them in this world because they have yet valuable service to do for Him.” Sometimes I wonder if one of the ways the frail elderlies continue to serve God’s purpose is by teaching the rest of us how to show respect and honor to them, as the Bible teaches, by caring for them in a Christlike manner of sacrificial love; because in our sometimes fast-paced and frenetic lives it makes us slow down and take time to make sure the needs of the frail are being taken care of which can sometimes seem like a burden. It helps us learn to be other’s- oriented instead of being selfish. They’re also serving by helping the rest of us take pause and consider our own coming demise and carefully consider our own death. All of which is a test of character and a means to develop godly character
      in areas that might otherwise suffer neglect.

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      1. Kay,
        This is so true! I have seen so much growth in my own life as I work with the elderly. I can be frustrating at times to have patience and gentleness. But, as you said, they are helping us learn how to show Christ’s love. They are also a constant reminder to me of how short (and sweet!) life is.
        -Abby

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    2. Roger, thank you for your thoughts on this! I was not meaning for this to be a detailed interpretation of God’s thoughts towards the elderly… There is so much more I could say and so much more I could uncover from His word. I feel like this topic is one that couldn’t be adequately expressed in even three or four articles. My purpose in writing this was to reach out to the elderly in the midst of a society that seems to reject the aged as ‘useless’. This was meant to be a plea to show the elderly and others that their life is precious and important because Jesus died for them. Again, I appreciate the comments!

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  3. Thank you. I really needed to hear and read this today. God spoke to me through your writing. Blessings and peace to you this beautiful day.

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  4. It’s rare for a young person to have such insight into the process and reality of aging. Frankly, I wish pastors would even teach a series on it, or at least a series in a Sunday school class. Not everyone who lives makes it into their senior years, but for those who do, it’s a stage of life we need to know how to navigate with grace, and the people around us need to understand the elderly and how they can best help them, especially when they reach the place where they can no longer live on their own but must rely on others; and then there are those who have no family or friends in a position to render help. It’s so important to think ahead to prepare yourself mentally and equip yourself spiritually to face our mortality and the potential challenges leading up to it. Thanks again for caring so much.

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    1. I would agree that this is a topic that needs to be taught about more than it is. It seems that our society wants to avoid the inevitable instead of embracing it and learning how to love it. Thank you for your thoughts on this!
      -Abby

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  5. Oh. My. Goodness. I was just praying into this very situation this morning; that God would raise up an army of people to intercede for the elderly, to remind them that they are known and loved, not just for who they once were, but who they have yet to become. Your post is confirmation of what God has been speaking to me about serving this population. Thank you so much for speaking into my destiny. God bless you!!

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