by Dale Evans Rogers

Thank God for every year of experience and press on.

       A stroke curtails false pride. It reminds us we are temporal. Our life is "a vapor," the apostle James wrote in his epistle, "that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14).

       During my worst hours of depression after the stroke, I petulantly submitted my resignation from this earth. With my health gone and without strength to care for myself, life in heaven with the Lord seemed preferable. The prospect of sitting in a wheelchair was not inviting. But I believe He still has things for me to do, and I'm willing to do them.

       There is nothing to be gained by fighting the inevitable. I have learned that it's little use to pretend to be younger than you are or to wish for things you can never have. Since you can't change the date of your birth, you are not responsible for your age-only for what you make of the years God has given you.

       We have many examples of people who have done amazing things in the years of their seniority:

       At age 88, John Wesley was preaching daily with eloquent power and undiminished popularity.

       Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals when he was 78.

       At 90, Arthur Rubinstein gave one of his greatest recitals in New York's Carnegie Hall.

       Grandma Moses didn't start painting until she was in her 70s, yet she enjoyed a career spanning 30 years and 1,600 pieces of art.

       Albert Schweitzer built a hospital in Africa and managed it until he was 89.

       At 88, Michelangelo drafted architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

       Jesse Irvin Overholtzer organized the global ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship after he was 60.

       Johann Sebastian Bach composed some of his best music at 85.

       At 120, Moses' "eyes were not weak nor his strength gone" (Deuteronomy 34:7).

       Sarah and Abraham started a family when they were well beyond childbearing years. When they were in their 80s, Joshua and Caleb led the Hebrew army across the Jordan to conquer the Promised Land.

       How old are you? Thank God for every year of experience and press on. Need and struggle are what excite and inspire us. And that's true in retirement years as well.

Used by permission of Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House Company, copyright (c) 2000. All rights to this material are reserved.