Unless Jesus returns or we die young, all of us will grow old. The Lord gives us examples to show us the way. How do we endure through pain? How do we navigate the loss of close friends? How do we continue to serve even as our bodies give way? Praise God for those who boldly go before us advancing still from strength to strength.
Saints who live long lives on earth connect us to our past.
Within an hour of my grandmother’s passing, someone asked a question to which no one remembered the answer, and then someone said “If Grandma were here, she would have known.” Old people recount facts, stories, and connections of old. When a life ends, a book of knowledge closes that cannot be reopened on earth. Elderly believers possess a knowledge and experience of God’s past work that informs our view of history as they recount the faithfulness of God. By connecting us to our past, they teach us who we are.
Saints who live long lives on earth connect us in the present.
Patriarchs and matriarchs hold families together. They bind their own descendants and the families of their siblings and cousins in a way no one else can. In some cases, they bind whole communities with warmth and love. Fractured and disconnected communities are more prone to difficulties of all kinds. Old people help hold us together.