I have been told many times throughout my life that I’m aging more quickly than the average person. Family, friends, and even doctors have told me this. At the youthful age of 39: arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic pain, high blood pressure, obesity, and an uncontrollable desire to use coupons whenever possible. Most of my hair is gone, and what remains is rapidly turning whiter than Frosty the Snowman. The inspiration for this bulletin article developed during my latest eye exam, when I was informed that I am officially in need of bifocals. You may not think of me as an old man, and I appreciate that very much! But while leaving the optometrist’s office with my new prescription, I felt old. I felt exhausted. Weak. Powerless.
In the midst of my pity party…I remembered Moses. In Acts 7:23, Stephen tells us that Moses was about my age (40) when he narrowly escaped Pharaoh’s wrath for the first time. In Exodus 7:7, we know that Moses was twice my age (80) when he first told Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Finally, Deuteronomy 34:7 tells us that Moses died at thrice my age (120). His eyes were so sharp that he could view the Promised Land from afar, and he was also blessed with a sound mind and body. Moses was in better shape at 120 years old, with no modern medicine or technology, than I might ever be!
As always, God was in complete control. God gave Moses the strength and long life he needed to do His work. When Moses’ portion of that work was done, his earthly life ended exactly when it was supposed to, and Joshua carried on in his place. I think this is deeply beautiful. Every aspect of us belongs to Him, including our lifespan. He knows our limitations, and gives us everything we need to do His work, for exactly as long as we need to do it. Not to be morbid, but none of us surprised God with our births, and none of us will surprise God with our deaths (Ecclesiastes 3:2).
Use me up, Lord! I’ll wear my bifocals so I can read my Bible more carefully. I’ll take my meds and keep my doctor appointments so I can care for my family and help others as long as I possibly can. I’ll even go on a diet and try to squeeze a few more years out of this old body I’ve abused so much. And when my portion of the work is done, I will sleep…and awaken in ageless Heaven! Amen.