“Gray Hair”

On more than one occasion Jesus used little children as a teachable moment for his disciples.  He took the children in his arms and blessed them then said, “…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven… whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18: 2-4) (Mt 19: 14) (Mk 10: 14-16) (Lk 10: 21) (Lk 18: 16)

But what about us old people, don’t we need that kind of love also? Of course we do, and Isaiah has a verse that addresses that subject very well.  “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isa 46: 4) God certainly carried out this promise to Abraham, Sarah, Caleb, Joshua, Simeon, (Lk 2: 25-32) Anna (Lk 2: 36-38) and many, many others.

It is shocking and sometimes embarrassing to realize that I am now older than those I once considered very old in my youth.  To look around and realize that I am the oldest person in the room is equally disconcerting.  But as God inspired Isaiah to say, “He will carry us and rescue us whether we have gray hair or no hair.” (Remember what happened to the 42 youths who mocked Elisha!) (2 Ki 2: 23-24) We are precious and honored in God’s sight no matter our age and physical appearance (Isa 43: 4).

As seniors, however, we need to avoid pontificating endlessly on our long-ago exploits (Isa 43: 18).  This is difficult because we forget that might does not make right.  Jesus’ words to his disciples about innocence and humility should factor in on those occasions.  Being childlike is not being weak, rather it is the ultimate in spiritual strength.  Surely there won’t be any wigs nor hair dye in heaven!

–Jim Bailey