For the Young and the Old
Looking across a small garden of olive trees on the Mt. of Olives, we spotted several large, knotted and gnarly trees with heavy, low branches nearly touching the ground. Alongside them were younger, beautifully shaped trees. The guide explained that olive trees were long lived, and several on the Mt. of Olives were thought to have been alive 2,000 years earlier when Christ walked among them. Quite incredibly, he also said that the old trees were still producing fruit!
I was moved, thinking that Christ had stood in that same garden and looked at the exact same trees I looked at. As I walked further into the garden, I pondered how incredible it was that a tree that bore olives 2,000 years earlier was still bearing fruit today. Both young and old olive trees were productive.
God brought to my mind how he used both the young and the old to do his will and produce fruit for his kingdom. David was selected as a young man to be King of Israel (1 Samuel 16). Young Joseph was taken into captivity at the hand of his brothers. God brought about his release and rise to power, saving his brothers and their land (Genesis 37-42). Abraham and Sarah were in their 90’s when Sarah conceived Isaac who was the father of the Israelites and in the lineage of Christ (Genesis 17). Simeon and Anna were both well into years when God used them to confirm that the Christ child had been born (Luke 2).
Psalm 100 tells us to serve the Lord with gladness, and in Galatians 6:9, we are told not to be weary in well doing. In other words, keep working for the Lord. What we do in God’s service may change over time depending on experience, circumstances, or capabilities. But young or old, we can be productive in the Kingdom. God has shown us that age is irrelevant; we need only be obedient to his calling.
– TH –