In the spring of 2017, I faced the possibility I might not live to see my 70th birthday. I was in the cardiac ICU in a hospital in Branson, MO with complete heart block waiting for a pacemaker to be inserted.
It didn’t feel like God was done with me yet. I had so much to do. Stories to write, authors to mentor, grandkids to welcome and enjoy. My wife and I were embarked on a new and exciting ministry in the area of stewardship in our church. Our fiftieth wedding anniversary was coming up and I didn’t want to miss that.
Then my heart stopped three times. Each time it came back on its own. After the third time, medical personnel attached a defibrillator that sent a repeated shock to my heart while they rushed me to surgery. That’s one way to move up on the waiting list. I don’t recommend it. The repeated shock was like a hard, constant punch to my chest. And I wanted it to stop.
The last thing I remember before the surgery was how cold the operating room was and wondering who all these masked people were. It flashed through my mind that I’d been abducted onto an alien space ship and they were going to mine all the intelligence from my brain. Which wouldn’t take long.
Before I succumbed to the anesthesia, I heard from God. Not an audible voice, but a knowing in my heart—I knew he wasn’t calling me home. The devil was trying to send me.
So I’m still here and looking forward to my full 120 years.
Are you like me? Looking at the downward slope of life?
Are you aware God’s not surprised we’re getting old?
Trust me. He’s not done with you yet. He still has plans for you and me. Plans with a future and a hope. No matter your age or your health, you can still serve him.
So put on your skis or your snowboard. Jump on your old Flexible Flyer sled and fly over the snow that seems to want to suck you down. Fly on the wings of our Lord and the strength of his love and the beauty of his grace and mercy and the promises of his Word.
If you’re a writer, write. Listen to him, to the words he puts on your heart. Those are the stories he wants you to share. Can’t type anymore? Dictate into a recorder. Don’t let the devil use age to stop you. Don’t let him win.
Not a writer? You can still share your wisdom. Get involved in your church and community. Seek opportunities to mentor those younger and even those your age who are struggling with life changes.
God wants us to flourish and be productive. Growing old doesn’t mean sitting on the bench and watching the world go by through eyes growing increasingly dim. Not at all.
Pray and meditate on these Scriptures:
Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. Psalm 92:14 NLT.
I will be your God through your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Isaiah 46:4 NLT.
Live long and prosper. In him.