Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses
sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could
Not even Captain Jack Sparrow could have
prepared the Somalian pirates for what they
encountered when they attempted to storm
a luxury cruise liner filled with retired tourists. As the
buccaneers pulled alongside the ship and began pelting
it with machine-gun fire, the octogenarian warriors used
deck furniture to resist and fight off the armed sea robbers.
Eventually, the golden-agers forced the pirates to
retreat. Sixty-five-year-old John Jeffrey, who was injured in
the attack, said triumphantly: “They tried to scare us off,
but we stood our ground and continued throwing chairs.”
Just as age didn’t prevent these seniors from bravely
defending themselves, age did not prevent 85-year-old
Caleb from flexing His muscles.
Because of Caleb’s wholehearted devotion to and trust
in God, 45 years earlier the Lord promised him a piece
of property. After that promise, Caleb had spent nearly
5 decades under Joshua’s leadership—wandering in the
wilderness with a dissatisfied, unfaithful congregation
and fighting against the Canaanite kingdoms. But even
after the wear and tear of all those years, with flashing
eyes and a strong voice, Caleb declared: “Today I am
eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when
Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and
fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country
that the Lord promised me” (Joshua 14:10).
God had not only preserved the promise for the man—He had preserved the
man for the promise.
Sometimes our culture neglects and shelves seniors. But God still needs
octogenarian warriors—believers who will trust His promises, refuse to let age
define their usefulness to God, embrace new experiences with God, and write new
chapters for Him.
What older believer will you encourage to keep embracing God’s
promises and fighting for His glory? What are some creative ways to
keep seniors engaged in building the kingdom of God?
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