To those who wish to cover their gray---go for it. But, if you are doing it because you are afraid of the changes of age taking place----this devotional by Elisabeth Elliot is for you.
God made you beautiful! You are His beautiful workmanship created in Christ Jesus. Don't let the world color the way you think about yourself. He likes you and He loves you. Today try to imagine his face and His loving eyes as He looks down on you. He is LOVE---and that love touches you every day in so many ways. Even the fact that you are reading this today, was set up by Him. It is a message from God for you-------"I LOVE YOU!".
Because tomorrow I will begin the last of threescore years, and because my mother is now closer to ninety than to eighty, I do a lot of thinking about old age. Has any of my friends called me ''spry" yet, or remarked, "She's amazing--still got all her faculties " ?
If they have, of course, it means they see me as over the hill, i.e., old. When I look in the mirror, I have to admit the evidence is all on their side, but otherwise it's hard to remember. I feel as "spry" and energetic as I did twoscore years ago.
I don't mind getting old. Before the day began this morning I was looking out at starlight on a still, wintry sea. A little song we used to sing at camp came to mind--"Just one day nearer Home.'' That idea thrills me. I can understand why people who have nothing much to look forward to try frantically and futilely to hang on to the past--to youth and all that. Get a face-lift, plaster the makeup on ever more thickly (but Estee Lauder says false eyelashes can add ten years to your looks), wear running shoes and sweat suits, dye your hair--anything to create the illusion you're young. (The illusion is yours, of course, nobody else's.)
Let's be honest. Old age entails suffering. I'm acutely aware of this now as I watch my mother, once so alive and alert and quick, now so quiet and confused and slow. She suffers. We who love her suffer. We see the "preview of coming attractions," ourselves in her shoes, and ponder what this interval means in terms of the glory of God in an old woman.
It would be terrifying if it weren't for something that ought to make the Christian's attitude toward aging utterly distinct from all the rest. We know it is not for nothing. ''God has allowed us to know the secret of his plan: he purposes in his sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in him" (Ephesians 1:9, 10 PHILLIPS).
In the meantime, we look at what's happening--limitations of hearing, seeing, moving, digesting, remembering; distortions of countenance, figure, and perspective. If that's all we could see, we'd certainly want a face-lift or something.
But we're on a pilgrim road. It's rough and steep, and it winds uphill to the very end. We can lift up our eyes and see the unseen: a Celestial City, a light, a welcome, and an ineffable Face. We shall behold him. We shall be like him. And that makes a difference in how we go about aging.Copyright© 1989, by Elisabeth Elliot
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