Old is a controversial concept. You may be depositing social security checks or contemplating a second career. You could be a parent, grandparent, or a middlescent saving for retirement.
No matter what age you are now, you may be wondering, will God’s promises still apply when I grow old?
Will I have enough?
Will I still be useful?
What does God promise when you grow old?
But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow tall as the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted into the Lord’s own garden, and are under his personal care. Even in old age they will still produce fruit and be vital and green (Psalm 92:12-14, NLT).
Who are the godly?
That promise refers to the “godly.” The Bible calls “godly” those who belong to Him: Christ-ones, those whom He labels “righteous” because they have accepted the free gift of forgiveness and salvation offered them through the blood and death of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:26, John 3:16). So if your heart belongs to Jesus, that’s a promise you can expect God to fulfill:
Notice the things He promises for you in these verses:
- You will flourish like palm trees.
- You will grow tall like Lebanon cedars.
- You have been transplanted into the Lord’s own garden.
- You are under His personal care and protection.
- You will still produce fruit.
- You will be vital and green.
When did God’s promise to you begin? When He transplanted you into His garden–when you became His child.
Do God’s promises ever fail? Not according to Scripture:
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does (Psalm 145:13, NIV)
For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn; he will never go back on his promises (Romans 11:29, TLB).
Will your life still be useful in old age?
Will your life still be useful to God? I think the key word above is still. God has always had a plan for you, from the time you were young–and even before you were born (Psalm 139).
And, He says, you will still produce fruit. After all, you are in God’s garden now. What He started producing in you earlier, He will continue to do so even in old age (Philippians 1:6).
What kind of fruit? Does God mean the fruit of the spirit? Love, joy, peace, patience… (Galatians 5:22-23). Or does He mean productivity and activity?
Whatever it means, God assures us of one thing. Our lives still matter to Him whether we are young or old. Even if our bodies grow old, our muscles sag, and our minds lag, God can still use us for His glory. We may not feel vital and green, but that doesn’t matter.
Why? Because God and His promises never change (Hebrews 13:8, MSG).
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my leaves to wilt and turn brown. I want to be a vital part of God’s garden until my final dying breath.
The Key to Our Usefulness
The key may be up to us. How much do we want Him to use us when we grow old? Old age is not something to dread. According to God’s promise, it’s something to anticipate–a continuation of His good plan. Prepare as best you can, but cast your worries and cares on Jesus.
Leave it up to God, and cooperate with Him as to how He wants to use you. Our part is primarily to trust and believe His promise.
My Prayer for You
Open our hearts to a greater definition of old age and to Your promise of usefulness and vitality as we grow older. Thank You for transplanting us into Your own garden, where you’ve promised to watch over and care for us. With You as the Master Gardener, Creator, and Sustainer of Life, why should we worry about getting older? Thank You for Your plans for our lives that You designed before we took our first breath–and for Your promise to keep using us until we draw our last. And thank You for drawing close to us as we draw close to You. Thank You that we can still serve You and love You in ways that You will reveal each year. Keep us vital and green, always growing in You, Jesus!
Still have questions? Check out this blog about God’s care for you.
No matter what age you are now, how do you feel about growing old? Does this promise encourage you?