How to Grow Old

http://odb.org/2016/02/26/how-to-grow-old

By. Lawrence Darmani

Isaiah 46:4-13

I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4

“How are you today, Mama?” I asked casually. My 84-year-old friend, pointing to aches and pains in her joints, whispered, “Old age is tough!” Then she added earnestly, “But God has been good to me.”

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“Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life,” says Billy Graham in his book Nearing Home. “I am an old man now, and believe me, it’s not easy.” However, Graham notes, “While the Bible doesn’t gloss over the problems we face as we grow older, neither does it paint old age as a time to be despised or a burden to be endured with gritted teeth.” He then mentions some of the questions he has been forced to deal with as he has aged, such as, “How can we not only learn to cope with the fears and struggles and growing limitations we face but also actually grow stronger inwardly in the midst of these difficulties?”

In Isaiah 46 we have God’s assurance: “Even to your old age and gray hairs . . . 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” (v. 4). We don’t know how many years we will live on this earth or what we might face as we age. But one thing is certain: God will care for us throughout our life.

Lord

, please teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (See Psalm 90:12)

Don’t

be afraid to grow old; God goes with you!

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The View from the Mountain

http://odb.org/2016/02/21/the-view-from-the-mountain/

Our valley in Idaho can be very cold in the winter. Clouds and fog roll in and blanket the ground, trapping frigid air under warmer layers above. But you can get above the valley. There’s a road nearby that winds up the flank of Shafer Butte, a 7,500-foot mountain that rises out of our valley. A few minutes of driving and you break out of the fog and emerge into the warmth and brilliance of a sunlit day. You can look down on the clouds that shroud the valley below and see it from a different point of view.

Life is like that at times. Circumstances seem to surround us with a fog that sunlight cannot penetrate. Yet faith is the way we get above the valley—the means by which we “set [our] hearts on things above” (Col. 3:1). As we do, the Lord enables us to rise above our circumstances and find courage and calmness for the day. As the apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil. 4:11).

We can climb out of our misery and gloom. We can sit for a time on the mountainside and through Christ who gives us strength (v. 13) we can gain a different perspective.

Although I can’t always see You or what You’re doing, Lord, I rest in Your love for me.

Faith can lift you above your fears.

Always Pray and Don’t Give Up

http://odb.org/2016/02/01/always-pray-and-dont-give-up/

Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1

Are you going through one of those times when it seems every attempt to resolve a problem is met with a new difficulty? You thank the Lord at night that it’s taken care of but awake to find that something else has gone wrong and the problem remains. During an experience like that, I was reading the gospel of Luke and was astounded by the opening words of chapter 18:  “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (v. 1). I had read the story of the persistent widow many times but never grasped why Jesus told it (vv. 2-8). Now I connected those opening words with the story. The lesson to His followers was very clear: “Always pray and never give up.” Prayer is not a means of coercing God to do what we want. It is a process of recognizing His power and plan for our lives. In prayer we yield our lives and circumstances to the Lord and trust Him to act in His time and in His way. As we rely on God’s grace not only for the outcome of our requests but for the process as well, we can keep coming to the Lord in prayer, trusting His wisdom and care for us. Our Lord’s encouragement to us is clear: Always pray and don’t give up!

Lord, in the difficulty I face today, guard my heart, guide my words, and show Your grace. May I always turn to You in prayer.

Prayer changes everything.