Turning 80

Eighty is considered a very old age in these modern times. Many people in their 80s are practically doing nothing, suffering from ailments, and depending on caregivers to take them around.

This wasn’t so in Bible times. The good Book is littered with old, active people doing rigorous jobs for God—Moses and Noah are just some of them.

I wish it were the same for my friend Ate Miriam. On her 80th birthday, her children threw her a big party with her old-time friends as guests. That night, she was totally made up, dressed to the nines, and looked her best.

Eight of us were requested to pray for her. In my prayer, I thanked the Lord for her once-vigorous life—encouraging times when she modeled for us how to serve God.

I say vigorous because she always found the energy to do something for our faith brethren. Every Sunday, she would donate and cook the snacks for Sunday school students. She drove the women’s group around the village for visitation of members. She was never absent in prayer meetings and other church activities.

And every time she had extra cash, she would either treat out the pastoral staff or ask each one what he needed. She also was an indefatigable donor of church needs—pews, equipment, etc.

Ate Miriam’s biggest dream was for her grandson Moses to become a pastor and to hear him preach from our church’s pulpit.

Alas, before Moses could graduate from Bible School, dementia assaulted her astute mind. Moses is now a full-fledged pastor and a powerful speaker, but sometimes—in her prayers—she would seek God’s favor to please help Moses become a pastor.  

We remind her that her beloved grandson is now serving the Lord full-time and she brightens up. 

A day after her 80th party, she saw her big birthday poster on her wall. She asked, “When is my birthday?”

She no longer recognizes many of her kin and friends. By grace, she still remembers me; I dread the day she won’t anymore.

But I look forward to that glorious time when she and I, plus the rest of those whose names and faces she has forgotten, will meet again. In that future time, her mind will be as keen as ever—in a world without end. 

". . . He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ . . ." Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) 


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