10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. 12 So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.” Joshua 14:10-12 ESV
What if old age need not be a time of retirement but may be filled with increased usefulness and new work, perhaps more exciting and more fruitful than that of our youth or middle age? That Christians may look forward to on-going spiritual growth even in old age is evident from Scripture. This first of three brief posts on the theme of Growing, Old comes from Dr. J. O. Sanders…
Dr. J. O. Sanders wrote: “No other Bible character presents such an inspiring conception of old age (as Caleb). His supreme challenge and opportunity came when he was eighty-five years old, the age when most think only of security and comfortable retirement. Caleb was a man of another spirit.
“ … To him old age was not petering out, but pressing on to grander attainments; not slowly descending the mountain, but scaling another peak; not senility, but adventure and achievement. His life moved steadily forward, not to termination but to consummation. His last years were his best. At every stage he towered above his contemporaries. In youth he stood alone. In mid-life he walked alone. In old age he climbed alone.”
From Dr. J. O. Sanders in Men From God’s School.