mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
- Psalm 71:15-18
“In Psalm 71, we see David reminiscing on his life, and now acknowledging the grey in his hair. While he is filled with praise for God’s lifetime of provision, he is eager to pass what he has learned to the next generations. David asks the Lord to sustain him so that he might.
“Aging has its challenges…failing health, falling income, possibly even thoughts of uselessness or obsolescence. But God wants you to glory in your grey. You have lessons to teach. Times when God healed health issues, or provided just the right job when you thought financial ruin was looming. You are not useless so long as you can have the sound of praise in your heart and in your voice. Grandparents can often get their messages through to children and youth when the words of parents fall on deaf ears.
“What legacy are you preparing for the generations who will follow you? The most important is their memories of your love and praise for the Lord. Ask Him to be your sustainer through your grey (or golden) years.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
I inherited my Dad’s hair color. I am in my ’gray’ years, but I have very little gray. I am just starting to get gray around the temples, like my Dad had when he passed away at 90 years old. But facial hair? Now that is gray.
While in college, my Dad went on a service project to a poultry processing plant in Minnesota. A nasty winter storm was coming, so the plant manager picked him up at the airport and drove him by the processing plant. My Dad opted to stay at the plant, sleeping on the couch in the plant manager’s office. The storm was worse than expected. The plant manager was unable to return to the plant for over a week. My Dad’s luggage had been lost. His only source of food was some things left in the executive refrigerator. He accomplished three things during his week of isolation. He completed the work, single-handedly. He lost a lot of weight. And he grew a beard.
As I entered the house the day that he returned home, I burst out laughing. He immediately went to the bathroom to shave. On top of his head, he looked like Tennessee Ernie Ford – solid dark brown, almost black, but from the nose down, he looked like Colonel Sanders – solid white.
I am more gray than white, but it is getting lighter.
But while I see television commercials about people who have lost their self-esteem due to gray hair, balding, pimples, weight gain, whatever, I scratch my head. I am comfortable in my skin.
There is at least one story to tell for every bump, every bruise, and every gray hair. If I took that away in order to conform to someone else’s idea of looking good to feel good, I would take away the stories that went with the imperfection.
The self-worth that matters is the value of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Without Jesus, I am nothing. With Jesus, I am everything. Anything that people on earth would say that I had done, I owe it all to Jesus. He kept my hand steady when it needed to be steady. He kept my mind clear when I needed to think, even pointing in the right direction. As the Scripture above says, I can never describe and explain all God’s wonderous acts. And often, it seemed I simply went along for the ride.
Sure, I have a few gray hairs. I have a few scars. It’s obvious that my nose has been broken more than once. If you want to know, I can tell you all about the wonderful ways Jesus has pulled me out of the fire, and on occasion pulled me out of the fire literally.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.