Everybody was younger. That was the first thing I noticed that weekend — not that I hadn’t noticed before. After reaching a certain age in a culture of Instagram and influencer close-ups, the way that we look seems to mean everything.
So, there I sat, realizing that every person at this gathering — and at most gatherings I’d attended that year — weren’t even born before most of my adult life.
Unsettled by this reality and because I don’t feel “old,” I happened to mention my actual age to one of the lovely young women, confessing my concern because I’d considered her a friend.
But the shock on her face shocked me. Worse, she physically backed away. “That’s your age?” Those were her words, stated with a certain horror. Worse, the rest of the weekend, she flat out avoided me. Was it that I no longer fit the right image of herself? Or was I really just washed up?
The question nagged me. At previous gatherings, I’d huddled and hung out with this friend — with others, too. We’d laughed and lingered, affirming our journeys and joys just by being present for one another. Now, knowing my real age, this particular friend backpedaled so far I couldn’t find her in the crowd. She literally disappeared.
For assurance, I nursed my hurt with a slew of Bible reminders that we all count for all our days. A favorite verse promises that the righteous, regardless of age, “will flourish like a palm tree” (Psalm 92:12).
Planted in the Lord’s house, we will “flourish in the courts of our God” and “will still bear fruit in old age,” staying “fresh and green” (vv. 13-14). But doing what?
Proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Psalm 92:15 (NIV)
Thus, regardless of age, God’s people will always have work to do for Him. I clung to this truth that hard weekend and still do. Because the second I start to waffle and worry about my age — and, especially, about my relevance — the enemy strikes, attacking all my weak spots.
The worst barb? The lie that my worth to God’s kingdom is done. That God doesn’t need me or my service anymore — if He ever did.
The lie says, “Step aside,” or “You’ve had your turn and your time. Make room for the younger, cooler, smarter, better anointed, more appointed, Instagram-ready daughters of God. And that ain’t you.”
But God, in His gracious love and mercy, put the kibosh big time on those doubts and lies. In fact, His Word is filled to the brim with people who hit their stride way past “normal” prime time.
Moses was eighty years old when God called him to free the children of Israel. Abraham and Sarah, at 100 and at ninety, were promised a covenant son, plus the work of parenting a nation.
Noah built the ark at age 600. Zechariah and Elizabeth were “both very old” (Luke 1:7) when they became the parents of John the Baptist.
Anna the prophetess, too, served in the temple until her “very old” age, watching and waiting for the Messiah. When she finally saw him, she didn’t kick off her shoes, sit down, and retire. Instead, she worked even harder, speaking about the child “to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36–38).
Sure, Moses pushed back on his calling, questioning his speaking style, but he never asked, “What if I’m too old?” (In fact, he even begged God to bring along his brother Aaron, who, at eighty-three, was no spring chicken.)
And me? I’m nowhere near 600. But will I let my age limit the stage I stand on to proclaim God? Will younger women invite us back, meantime, to the table? Then, will I let His blessing over all of us seed my age and service — with wisdom, joy, humility, and love?
In other words, will I keep going for God, letting Him surprise me with new mountains to climb and stages to set? (In fact, I’m doing new things for God this year that I never before imagined — including writing Christian fiction, and the new journey is exciting, but also fun!). God knows His plans for us, so why let our age limit them? If it’s a new day, no matter what others think or see, let’s mirror the ageless glory of God.Leave a Comment