Wednesday, August 9, 2017

God’s Sweet Provision in Our Old Age

I have been thinking much about the passage of time now that my life has entered its 70th year.  It seems only yesterday that, as a much younger man, I had read Psalm 71: 17-19 and did not appreciate its depth of meaning.  Now, as I am growing old and gray, I find great comfort and assurance when I offer prayers of reverence and praise to God through the inspiration of His Holy Spirit Who stirs my soul with the message of these verses:

O God, You have taught me from my youth,
And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.
And even when I am old and gray,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.
For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You?

I am especially blessed when I see evidence of God at work fulfilling His promises before my very eyes in the lives of my elders.  What a privilege to spend time with people who still declare God’s strength, His righteousness, and the fact that He has done great things.  Recently, my elderly friend and brother in Christ, George McFadden, who is nearing the end of his life in a battle with leukemia, said with a twinkle in his eyes while referring to His faithful God, “I am so thankful that I have a good ‘Undertaker’.”

Surely you too have been blessed to spend time with men and women who are in their 80’s and 90’s.  What an encouragement we can receive from our elders who have retained their gracious, thoughtful, and witty habits.  They demonstrate that they can still be overcomers in spite of having lost their youthful energy, some of their privacy and formality, most or all of their hair, and perhaps even most of their ability to recognize loved ones when they visit.  Nevertheless, they seem to radiate a confidence and peace that echoes with the psalmist (v. 7), I have become a marvel to many, for You [God] are my strong refuge.

Happy 91st Birthday, Grandma Moser, from
 Abby (center rear), Della Rose (L) and  Kiara (R).
While writing the above introduction, I thought of my mother-by-marriage, Marietta Moser. Marietta  has been "Mom” to seven daughters and seven son-in-laws.  Following her strokes, in 2011, she now lives in the Golden Age Retreat, in Carrollton, Ohio.  Today is her 91st birthday and we were privileged to visit her along with our two granddaughters, Kiara (15) and Della Rose (9), daughters of our daughter, Melinda, and son-in-law, Steve Salyers. 

Both girls show evidence that they have a growing faith in the God Who has done great things. During our recent visit, the girls joined their “Grandma Abby” and I to sing “Happy Birthday” to their Great-Grandma, Marietta Moser.  Marietta’s smile of appreciation as she looked up at them spoke volumes to all of us.  But when Marietta recited with me Psalm 23, the “Good Shepherd Psalm,” I think we all realized the truth of God’s promise that even when I am old and gray, O God, [You will] not forsake me—[No, not] until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.

Marietta Moser (2011) and Seven Daughters
While we visited with Marietta, we also witnessed God’s grace and provision to her through the staff members of Golden Age Retreat, ladies who shower their love and care upon her.  Our thanks and appreciation is due to these dear people who labor hard to make Golden Age a safe and pleasant “retreat” for its residents.

 After playing a game of Dominoes with her and enjoying more of Marietta’s lovely smile and witty humor, we thanked God for speaking so clearly to us that we need not fear growing old and facing the uncertainties of our future, because

By You, I have been sustained from my birth;
You are He who took me from my mother's womb;
My praise is continually of You.

[You will] not cast me off in the time of old age;
[Nor] forsake me when my strength fails.  – Psalm 71: 6, 9


Karen VanZwieten said...

Mrs. Moser is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. After her husband announced the seventh daughter he said, "We have six very happy girls." Her faith gave the family a strong Christian bond that is a great example to anybody that knows them. Happy birthday, Mrs. Moser.

John said...

Thank you, Karen, for your tribute to Mom Moser. I hadn't known her long after marriage to Alvadell before it felt so welcomed and right for me to call her "Mom." I've been calling her that for over nearly 50 years. She and your dear mom were unusual ladies who will be part of the treasures of heaven, faces illuminated by the radiance of our Savior.