There is a lot of evidence for this besides the calendar. I have more little (and big) aches and pains. I can now pull my back out of alignment by just getting out of bed. My stamina isn’t quite what it used to be. Believe it or not, I get full faster. (I think that should be chalked up as a blessing.) I could list some others but they probably are best left unsaid. But the one that surprises me the most, is my response to heat.
I grew up in heat. The Central Valley is not known for its mild summer climate, and summer tennis programs were run at all times of the day. For some reason the heat didn’t bother me then . . . or in college . . . or even as a young adult. I could play at any time of the day.
I still live in a warm (a Central Valley euphemism for blazing hot) area, but I have discovered my outdoor activity is now reserved for the morning or evenings, and even then, once done, I am wiped out.
Age does that to a person. Though we can still be active, age causes us to modify our activity, reassess our abilities, and seek new challenges. What it doesn’t do, however, is make us unnecessary or useless or forgotten.
A lot of times when we reach an age where we can’t do what we used to do or still want to do, we are afraid we will be deemed useless. Even the Psalmist was afraid of such a thing and begged God to “not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent” (Psalm 71:9).
But we are remembered and we are told to value our gray hair as it is “a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31), and because of that we have something unique to offer that only comes with age. “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days” (Job 12:12).
And so even if our activities have changed over the years, we are reminded that we still have value. We are still important in God’s work: “They [the righteous] still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green (Psalm 92:14).
Yes it is true that “The glory of young men is their strength,” but it is also true that “the splendor of old men is their gray hair” (Proverbs 20:29). In fact, the first part of Titus 2 is Paul instructing Titus about how important the behavior of the older men and women is, for they are to be examples and mentors for younger men and women.
Some of us, like Moses, will live lives full of health and vigor right up to the day God calls us home (Deuteronomy 34:7). Others of us will feel the weight of the years and be physically slowed in our final days.
Regardless, God knows us, remembers us, and wants to still use us just as we are until he takes us home.