A Joy I Never Expected


I must testify that being in my seventies is a joy I never expected. Even now, I’m not certain I can put it into words, but I do know this - aging doesn’t have to be a burden. Oh I know, the mirror shows the wrinkles, the grey hair, a body whose size and shape is changing with the years. I can’t run as fast, or lift the same weight that I used to. But, in His mercy and His grace, God has given us everything that we need to face, with dignity and hope, the death that our physical bodies will undergo.


Until that time comes, everyday I’m breaking new ground: my thoughts are shifting.


Every day, I’m seeing how and when to stand aside so that those who are younger have the opportunity to use their abilities. Every day, I’m learning how and when to change my approach to situations so that I, and the people around me, can retain the perfect peace that God promises as we work through our difficulties.


Every day that we’re walking in the Lord’s will for our lives we’ll learn something new about how much He loves us. With all that I’ve learned, I know that I’m only scratching the surface of how deep God’s love is.


When I was younger, many people tried to help me know that God loved me, but I just couldn’t understand it. All that changed in 1985 when my birthday fell on Good Friday. Suddenly, I got it. The anniversary of my birth collided with the anniversary of Jesus’ death on the cross for me. Finally, I understood.


This song in our Church Hymnal says it all for me.


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.


Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God.

All the vain things that charm me most – I sacrifice them to His blood.


See, from His head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?


Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far to small.

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.


Seven or beyond seventy, may life stop being a burden, and become the joy of His salvation as we see each day as an opportunity to be breaking new ground.


May God guide us as we plan to serve as His instruments of peace, and spread the Gospel by our actions rather than by our words.


I thank God that He created each one of you. You are the workmanship of His hands. He has counted every hair on your head, so He even knows how many you’ve lost!


Every day, may we love Him more, and thank Him more, and simply be at peace in His loving arms.


Amen.

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