The rented hall was buzzing with laughter and activity. In just a few hours, friends and family would honor Anna’s 80-year-old mother with a surprise party. Her son, Josh, was helping Anna with the crew in the kitchen. As he helped wash and tear mountains of lettuce for a salad while others put together party trays, Josh’s forehead wrinkled with worry. The more time that passed and the more frenzied the preparations became, the more worried Josh was about his grandma.
Would this be too much for her? “What’s wrong, Honey?” his mom asked.
Josh voiced his concern, “Should we be surprising someone that old?”
Too old? Too young? Boundaries by age and time are concocted by the world, but not by God.
Even the prophet Samuel was stunned that the king to be anointed to replace Saul was a half-grown David. His father, Jesse, had sent the youth–perhaps 15 years old–to watch the sheep while Samuel checked over the kingly-looking, tall, handsome, grown sons. But the Lord insisted David was the one. God justified His criteria in this way: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV) Though David was chosen by God as king then, he didn’t mount the throne as king of all Israel for decades. He was past the minimum age of a U.S. President when that happened.
Age doesn’t mean anything to God. Do you remember that Noah, with no shipbuilding experience, took to building an ark at God’s command? He was no spring chicken then. Plus it took Noah 120 years. He was six hundred years old when the floods came.
Or that Moses, who led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, was an octogenarian when he did that?
Or Abram, at ninety-nine, and his wife Sarai, ninety, who had already gone through menopause, were expecting a baby. She was pregnant with Isaac. No wonder Abram–later Abraham–laughed.
Think about Apostle Paul in the New Testament. Historians guess his birth and death date, but figure he was over fifty when he made his first missionary trip. It seems pretty challenging for a senior to set off on foot across far-away countries. Though he faced opposition in wealthy cities by residents along the way who worshipped many gods and made money creating and selling statues of the fictional gods, Paul was steadfast. He stuck to telling about one God, our creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. With a record number of shipwrecks, Paul’s life was never dull. But he kept walking and sailing, letting God make up for what he couldn’t do himself.
So young or old, it doesn’t matter to God. He just smiles and keeps you growing past your age and abilities.
Live your life! Forget your age!
[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from this website, www.button-to-god.com. For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog on www.button-to-god.com.]