Jump Start # 2061
Psalms 90:10 “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away.”
Psalm 90 is an old Psalm. It may be the oldest. It was written by Moses. There was a lot of time between Moses and David, who wrote most of the Psalms. Yet long ago Moses said that life is about seventy to eighty years. That hasn’t changed much in all this time. Some live longer, some shorter. But about 70 or 80 is pretty much the average.
I attended a funeral yesterday of someone who was 95 years old. She was one of our members. It’s rare for me to sit in the audience. Usually I’m the one behind the pulpit fighting nerves and trying to find the right words to comfort a grieving family. But on this occasion, it was our young preacher in training. He did a fine job. To this day, I remember the first funeral I ever did. Those things stick with you.
The dear sister who passed was special. She was old, but she didn’t seem old. She had such a spark and zest for life. She’d enter the church building pushing her walker and her family trying to keep up with her. She’d hug me and ask me if I was ready for a Holy kiss. She sure loved the Lord and her family. As I sat there listening to the young preacher pouring his heart out, I thought of a few thoughts that I want to share with you.
First, some people are just old in life. They may not have the years on them, but they just act old. I’ve seen forty year olds that seemed old. What a contrast to this dear sister who was old but didn’t seem like it. I wonder why some are like that.
Perhaps, they’ve gotten worn out carrying the burdens of life. Jesus invited those who were weary and heavy laden to come to Him and receive rest. What if a guy didn’t come to Jesus. He’d just keep on going. But it doesn’t take very long, carrying heavy loads, to just feel worn out. Tired of having so little peace in their hearts. Life without forgiveness. Life without direction. Trying to figure everything out on your own. Worn out before one is even old. There are people just like that.
It just may be that the faith and love of the dear sister that I knew, kept her young, fresh and enjoying life. Faith will just do that. Let God run the universe for a while. Don’t try to figure everyone out. Don’t try to put everyone in a category. Don’t try to assign people to Heaven or Hell. Let God do that. Love the Lord. Love your family. Love worship. That’ll put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.
Second, some folks, if you gave them 200 years, they’d still not do anything worthwhile with it. We get that from the Scriptures. Ole’ Methuselah is known as the oldest person in the Bible. He lived 969 years. Methuselah was the grandfather of Noah. Now, Noah was blameless and found favor in the eyes of the Lord. By faith, Noah prepared the ark according to God’s instructions. Was grandpa Methuselah a believer? The Bible doesn’t say. What did he do with all those 969 years. He lived. Some folks are just like Methuselah. They live a long time and that’s all they accomplished. No examples of goodness. No footprints left that leads to the Lord. No history of walking with God. No helping God’s people. No spreading the Gospel message. Just 969 years. I tend to think it would have been tough to preach Methuselah’s funeral. The preacher back then could say, “He’s old. He’s really old.” But what else was there to say?
Now, all this reminds us that life isn’t measured by how long you live but by what you do with it. Some can squeeze more life in two or three decades than all the Methuselahs’ ever do. Now, I’m not talking about living for your self. Sky diving. Rock climbing. Vacationing in Europe. What good is that? I’m talking about helping others. I’m talking about taking time to teach Bible classes. I’m talking about living in such a way, as our dear sister did, that her great grandchildren, were impressed, touched and moved by her. You see, some folks, given a hundred years to live, would still be selfish, demanding and always talking about themselves.
I’ve only known this dear sister for a decade. But the way she was, I expect she was just like that when she was in her fifties. I expect as a young woman in her twenties, she was like this. Choices. Faith. Christ. Serving. Character. These are the things that molded and shaped her ninety plus years. Some never get it. They never quite figure out what life is all about. So, all of this reminds us, it’s not how old you are, but rather, what are you doing with your life right now. Where you are, what are you doing? Choices. Faith. Christ. Serving. Character. It doesn’t matter if you are in your twenties, or if you are in your nineties, this is about who you are.
Third, some day it will be our time. I thought about that as the young preacher was preaching. Some day it will be our time. It really doesn’t matter what is said then. What matters is what we have done up to that point. We are leaving examples and footprints today. People see us. People know us. They are making conclusions about our faith as they travel along side of us.
To love the Lord and your family, what could be more important than that. I’m getting more and more convinced that God puts before us living examples for us to not just admire, but to show us that it can be done right. Life, the way God wanted it to be. Sometimes, we don’t notice those examples. Sometimes, we want the Lord to help us, and the help is right before us. It’s in that older Christian. It’s in that teenage Christian. It’s in that young family that comes every week. It’s in the heart of that young preacher who is doing is best to teach God’s word. All around us, living examples. God is not leaving us alone. God is reminding us. God is showing us. And when we look at of this, we must ask our self, “What’s my problem?” Why can’t I do what they’re doing? Why can’t I be an example? Why are all my thoughts about me? Why am I stuck in problems and pain? These examples all around us, have buried mates. They buried children. They went through wars. They experienced national depressions. There were long nights and hard times. Yet, there they are, with a smile on their face. There they are asking about us. There they are ready to serve. They didn’t walk through life with a chip on their shoulder. They didn’t act like they were cheated out of something. They weren’t sour on life. They are the sunshine that brightens a room. They are this way because they chose to be this way. God has placed these people in our lives to show us that we too can be just like they are. We too, can make a difference in this world.
Some day we’ll leave this room. We’ll pass through that door called death. I wonder if we’ll walk through with a smile on our face. I expect my dear sister did. That’s just the way she was.
Thank you, Lord, for giving a wonderful example of Wanita. Her many years are layered with powerful reminders to all of us. May we be the same for others.