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Gray with Grace

The young glory in their strength,

and the old are honored for their gray hair.

Proverbs 20:29

 

“I love your hair!”


This is the compliment I receive most often these days. Though my hair does not define me, I accept this praise with pride knowing that not everyone can wear gray well.

 

And yet …

 

Such a statement also serves as a reminder that I am no longer in the prime of life. In fact, I am closer to my death date than birth date, and that gives me pause.

 

Growing old is not for the weak. It takes stamina, fortitude, and a bit of spunk to gracefully accept the wrinkles, the age spots, and the gray hairs that appear where you least expect them years before their anticipated arrival. Thankfully, God allows the changes to emerge slowly, which undoubtedly prevents a plethora of early heart attacks. I’m not sure I would have survived my last birthday if I had looked in the mirror and found my grandmother staring back.

 

But a slow decline does have its setbacks. When a change in physical looks is gradual enough to go unnoticed, it gives the allusion that we are still as strong and sharp as we always were. 

 

I was recently reading about a battle King David fought against the Philistines later in his life. 2 Samuel 21:15 states, “David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted.” (This is what can happen when you get older.) David was a warrior, but even warriors get old and tired. In this case, David had to be rescued by one of his mighty men who killed a Philistine to save David’s life. Afterwards, David’s men tell him, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished” (21:17).

 

David’s men could have told him (but didn’t), “Never again will you go out with us to battle, because you are too old for that kind of thing.” Instead, they diplomatically told David that his life was too important to risk losing. I’m sure David saw right through their façade, but it appears he listened to their advice because subsequent verses give no indication that David ever participated in another battle.

 

I have to give this Israelite king credit for listening to his advisers. No one wants to be told that they are getting old and should stop participating in certain activities, even if they are dangerous. But David gracefully accepts his fate, unlike some other people I know.

 

Shortly after my father’s 80th birthday, we caught him on the roof, cleaning out the gutters. My siblings and I tried to be diplomatic by telling Dad that he had earned the right to have his gutters cleaned professionally. He would have none of it. Then we told him that we knew people who would do it for free. (That wasn’t entirely true. It would have cost someone something, but not him.) But still, Dad would not bite. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

 

“Dad,” I pleaded, “you are too old to be on the roof!” To which he responded, “No, I’m not.” End of story. It just goes to show that old age is not synonymous with wisdom.

 

I’ll be taking a different approach. Bring on the wrinkles, age spots, and gray hairs. I’ve earned them. No Botox or hair coloring for me. After all, if I want my life experiences to be accepted as sage advice, I need to look the part. I am not the beauty I once was according to human standards, but God isn’t looking at my waistline, crow’s feet, or gray hairs—he’s looking at what I’ve become. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

 

Eleanor Roosevelt—a woman not credited with good looks—wisely said, “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” God willing, I’ll be a masterpiece.

 

THIS SONG IS WORTH LISTENING TO! JUST CLICK THE TITLE.

THE SONG THAT COMES TO MIND is Growing Older by the JJ Heller.

Favorite lyric: “You’re growing older and more beautiful each day.”

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6 comentários


C. Springs
C. Springs
18 de abr.

Wonderful post! Thank you so much for writing and sharing your transparency — it's exactly where I've been lately. ❤️ The Holy Spirit has recently urged me to return to a couple of things he began in me over 25+ years ago. (Life interfered). I'm like "Father, I'm 67 years old and my voice is not what it used to be — You know I'm particular about that kind of thing!" I was then reminded of a few conversations and testimonials in the Bible (i.e., when folks said they were too old, too young, their speech wasn't fluent, etc). Not to mention the ages some of them were when God performed through them, some of His most powerful miracles! So,…

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michelle
23 de abr.
Respondendo a

I love this!! Thank you for sharing! I am finding that I am my best work for God occurs with each passing year. Maybe He uses us older individuals because we have our life experiences to draw from. Here's to believing that the best years are still ahead!

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Althea Damgaard
Althea Damgaard
11 de abr.

I had to laugh along with parts of this. One, I started graying early. I can thank my dad's side of the family for that including the fun of him trying something around 1980 to get rid of the white in his black hair. It just reversed the white and black kind of like an old photo negative. I haven't bothered dying my hair either and I get compliments about it all the time. Some of us truly can wear gray quite well.


I can relate to you father on the roof. My grandmother, who still drives fine at 92 going on 93 this summer, would get on her roof to fix something. One time she went into her crawl…


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michelle
11 de abr.
Respondendo a

This is great!! Thank you for sharing about your grandmother and father. No matter what the age, we all need a reason to get up in the morning. God bless you.

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kgiles87
10 de abr.

As we age, we might not be able to contribute in the way we did when we were younger, especially physically. But with age comes experience, which still translates into having something to offer (80-year-old dads on the roof not withstanding). I love learning from the experiences of my elders, especially when they are willing to share the not-so-wise along with the wise. Great post, Michelle!

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michelle
10 de abr.
Respondendo a

Thank you, Kathleen! I'm learning as I go!!

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