Meditations by John Dean

Monday, July 16, 2012

Old Before Your Time

(Isaiah 40:30-31 KJV) Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 

According to our text even young people can have a tendency to grow “weary, give up and utterly fall” just as often as older folks. Among the many challenges in a young person’s life…patience has to be at the top of the list. Even though the Bible does not specifically say this, it does seem to imply that it is easier for older folks to “wait upon the LORD” and “renew their strength” than it is for the younger folks.

Waiting is a learned behavior and many times it is only achieved by years of personal testing. The three areas that seem to be the hardest for a young person to be tested in are the areas of “wait, rest and little.”  They much prefer “big, stride, fly and now.”

When one “waits” it shows faith, when one “rests” it shows personal peace, and the word “little” shows one that life is a series of little steps rather than long strides.

It is not unusual to see younger folks claim to be older than they really are because they want to show they have maturity. Nor is it unusual to see older folks claim to be younger than they are because they want to keep their youth. However, it is very unusual to find an old person who claims to be years older than they really are.

Having said that...I knew a minister who had everyone convinced he was years older than he really was. He always denied any youth within himself even though he was about sixty years of age at the time. In his mind he was never old enough. He could accept youth within others, but he could not accept youth within himself. He even had me convinced that he was far my senior and therefore I treated him as my senior. It was not until years later that I learned that he and I were the same age.

He, like many others, had a low self-esteem when he was growing up, but in his case he was never able to outgrow it. Pretending to be older was his way of showing that he had he would be accepted. Being wise would also show that he had the ability to “rest in the Lord.” However, he sacrificed a very important season (his youth), in order to do it. My friend failed to realize that even though young folks may face many challenges and battles in life…those same battles and challenges are extremely important in building the person they are to become.

There are probably many folks today who are spiritually “lopsided,” (having skipped something important in their development). However, in spite of that they are not hindered from ending their life in the winner’s circle because of their dedication to the Lord. That means our part is to show the “love of God” to others that appear to be a little “lopsided” so they will show the “love of God” to us in spite of our “lopsidedness”.

The fact is every season is important in one’s life, so there is no advantage in trying to skip a season…or in this case “being old before your time”.

I thank You that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made in Your image. I also thank You Lord for loving us in a way that teaches us how to love others with the same God kind of love that we have received.

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