Old Age and Gray Hairs
By Tiffany Thibault
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. - Isaiah 46:4
My grandmother lived a very long life. Many of my childhood memories include my mom, siblings and I visiting her in a retirement home. She and my mother would talk for hours about the Bible and current world events. My grandmother was intelligent and quick to give insights about things happening around the world, none of which interested me then. I preferred to hear her talk about her father, who had been a Baptist preacher. I liked to hear stories of her childhood, of how the people in her church thought that playing cards, going to the movies, and wearing lipstick was scandalous for Christians back in the 1920’s.
In the last few years of my grandmother's life, she slipped into the grip of dementia, reaching a point where the only person she recognized was my dad. She became angry that she couldn’t remember us. Sometimes she would tell us to go away, her voice mumbling about people trying to pretend to know her. Eventually, her dementia was so strong that she would mumble incoherently. She also became bedridden and completely blind.
Somewhere along the way we discovered the key to making our time with her peaceful. We found that if we opened the Bible and read sections of it aloud, that she would calm down. We noticed that when we read from the King James Version, that she would follow along, reciting the words that she had once learned so very long ago. Our visits to her became mostly Bible reading sessions, and singing old hymns. My grandmother’s warbly voice would strengthen as she would sing the songs. Though the years had taken away her memory of us, the words of God were tucked so very deeply into her soul, that she could recall them quickly and with ease.
I love that this verse mentions our old age and our gray hair. No one is exempt from that. It will bring aches and pains. It will diminish our eyesight and hearing. Our bones will become fragile, our muscles weaker. Our hair will gray or become white. We will eventually give up trying to dye it to its once youthful hue. In all this, God will sustain us. He will keep us going. He will carry us. He will rescue us. I love how God mentions that He will sustain us two times in this short verse. How do you need God to sustain you today?
How does God sustain us? One way is through His Word. He gives us spiritual strength when we spend time in His Word. My grandmother spent her childhood growing up in church. She memorized the scriptures, she heard her father preach the Word from the pulpit. She learned the hymns by singing the songs each Sunday. As an adult, she spent hours studying the Bible on her own. When her eyes grew dim and she could no longer read, we read to her. The familiar words were a balm to her soul and emotions, it brought her tremendous peace.
If we don't know God, it's difficult to trust Him. It’s hard to see how He can sustain us through the ups and downs of our lives if we haven't memorized His words of promise. Are you memorizing scripture, planting it deep into your soul? The Bible does no good to you if it sits unopened on a bookshelf. It is meant to be read, to be studied, to be applied to your life.
Have you accepted Jesus in your life as your Savior? If you haven't, what is stopping you from doing so?
Do you make a concentrated effort to be in His Word, getting to know Him on a deeper level on a consistent (daily) basis? If you don’t, what can you do to make that a part of your day?
We live in such an amazing time. Many of us have more Bibles in our house than people! We can also access the Bible digitally so that we can listen to it on our drive home or while we are doing odd jobs around the house. We can tune into radio stations, or turn on YouTube to hear the hymns and other songs about God. Let us never become immune to having access to the Bible, but let us be intentional about accessing it to change our life.
God made you. He wants to sustain you. He wants to rescue you. He wants to carry you. Get to know Him through His words, and allow Him to sustain you not only today, but through the years to come, all the way to your old age and your very last hair has turned gray.
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