Have you ever thought you (or someone else) was too young or too old? Too young to know, understand or do? Too old to dream, make a difference or contribute? I think that maybe we put entirely too much emphasis on age. As I began my annual journey of reading through the Bible this January, I was once again struck by the ages of people whom God used to effect change in the world – for His Glory and His Purpose. It doesn’t seem to matter to God what a person’s age in years is. It doesn’t seem to matter to God what station or situation in life in which a person lives. God uses all kinds of people in all ages, stations and situations in life. He chooses how to use each of us according to His plan for our lives and His working in our lives. He created us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. So, I ask myself…why would I ever doubt that God could do something for His Kingdom using me? I had a friend tell me once that if God can use a donkey, He can certainly use me. Don’t worry, I wasn’t offended by being categorized with a donkey. I got her message loud and clear and it has encouraged me many times over the years.
While I was thinking about this “age” thing, I started to remember all the different aged people God used to bring about His Will in His Time. Reminding myself that some of these things took many years. We are not very patient as a world today, are we? We are so used to immediate communication, gratification, etc. that we don’t like to wait for anything or anyone. But, some things just take time and we can trust that God knows the right time.
Here are few examples of young people God used for His purposes (in no particular order):
· John 6:8 (God used a little boy with 2 fish and 5 loaves to feed over 5,000 people – a lesson for His disciples and everyone else then and now)
· 1 Timothy 4:11-14 (Timothy, a young messenger of God)
· 2 Kings 22:1-2 (King Josiah – age 8! The scriptures say he was upright before the Lord)
· David – a young shepherd boy who became King (and yes…that was a long time coming)
· Samuel – a young boy dedicated to God and hearing from God in a special way
· Joseph – his story and purpose took years to fulfill
· Mary, Mother of Jesus – a teenager who bore the Christ Child
· Esther – another teenager (an orphan who became queen and was used by God to save her people)
And what about old (or should I say elderly) people? Some seemed to begin their ministry at an age where nowadays we might think their usefulness was close to being over – NOT SO WITH GOD! He says in Psalm 92:14 “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.”
· Abraham and Sarah are great examples. Talk about having children late in life – this was really pushing it to the extreme. But remember, with GOD, nothing is impossible! After all, He is the creator. He can certainly recreate something any time He wants!
· Moses – I love the story of Moses because we can see (with the benefit of scriptures) how his story unfolds from birth to end. He didn’t know the full impact of his life as he submitted to God. It’s in looking back through our lives that we see what God has done – even with us (broken vessels as we are).
· Noah – This is a wonderful story of trusting in God when not only do you not see, you can’t even comprehend. Remember, it had never rained yet. He didn’t know how God would accomplish what He said, he couldn’t imagine it. He trusted anyway.
· Joshua – God told him, “You are very old…” but there is still much to do and I want to do it through you.
· Anna (the prophetess) – She was very old but worshipped God day and night with fasting and praying. God blessed her with seeing the Christ child – Jesus.
So, does age really matter? Not to God. What matters to Him is whether we are fully committed and submitted to Him. Nothing is too small (no one is too young) and nothing is too large (no one is too old) to be used by God in a mighty way. The real question is…will we allow Him to guide, direct and use us for His glory and His kingdom? Or, do we just want to keep to ourselves until Jesus returns? It’s a serious question I must ask myself every day and maybe you should too.
I hope as you read scriptures you will notice the young and old God used and remember that He can use you too! If you have a dream that you think is well past or too far out of reach – pray about it. It just might be that God has given you that dream and is waiting for you step out in faith so He can fulfill it through you.
I will end with a couple of scriptures for us to ponder.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.”
Acts 2:17-18 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
It’s never too early or too late to be used by God. Let’s remember – nothing is impossible where God is concerned. Have a blessed day and don’t forget to be a blessing to someone else.