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Bear Fruit at Every Age

Bear Fruit at Every Age

Maybe you’re old enough to remember when we used an atlas to plan a trip. Then, in the early 2000s, those GPS navigational gizmos came along that we plugged into the car. Do you remember those? They had names like Navman, Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. Ours had this buttery female voice that sounded way too flirtatious, which is why to this day I don’t understand why it wasn’t called a NavWoman. I know I sound old, but that’s my point. It’s inevitable that we will all grow old, but even when we do, we don’t have to stop being fruitful.

Just because we might have to do things differently, just because we might need to adapt to the way our bodies or minds have aged does not mean that our mission, assignment, or purpose is over.

Of course, I am aware that things change as we grow older. I am committed to eating well, exercising regularly, taking supplements, and doing whatever I need to do to look after myself, but there is no getting around the fact that things change as we age. For everyone. Our bodies change, our brains change, our health and fitness changes, and we have to adjust accordingly if we are going to keep moving forward.

Let’s face it, if you’re anywhere past forty, you probably have an entire list of how you’ve changed. Like me, you might wear readers and have a pair on every side table in your house. You might even be quite invested in chains that hold them around your neck. You might run to the bathroom far more often and even map out your errands with all the best potty stops in mind — not that I would know this from personal experience. You might require afternoon naps to get through the evening, and my own kids may or may not laugh at the fact that these days, I am often in bed before they are.

You might invest in more lotions, potions, serums, and creams than you ever have in your entire lifetime, because things sag, bag, and wrinkle in a way and in places none of us ever expected. I know every time I hike or work out, I feel it from head to toe. My fifty-six-year-old body talks to me. It creaks and pops and aches and doesn’t let me do things the way I used to do them. Things definitely change, but that doesn’t have to stop us from moving forward. In order to keep going and growing, we make adjustments along the way. If we don’t, then we will get stuck being frustrated that we are not who we were and cannot do what we once did. We will get stuck looking back instead of moving forward.

I love the fact that on the pages of Scripture, clearly written in black and white, we see that it is possible to continue to bear fruit in old age. The psalmist wrote,

The righteous thrive like a palm tree and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they thrive in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, healthy and green, to declare, “The Lord is just; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” — Psalm 92:12-15, emphasis added

As we age, we do not need to buy into the narrative that our best days are behind us, we are finished, there is nothing left to learn, or that we are done. It is simply not true.

  • If we are still breathing and have a pulse, then God has a purpose for us to fulfill.

We do not need to get stuck in retirement, stuck in comfort, stuck in predictability, stuck in ease, stuck in leisure, stuck out of sight, or stuck in past memories, past accomplishments, past achievements, and basically stuck waiting to die. In fact, the data shows if we have a mission and purpose, we live longer. One study I read noted that “successful aging is more than longevity or the absence of disease and disability; rather successful aging implies health, physical functionality, and psychological well-being. It’s having purpose in life, goals, and a sense of direction.”1

In one of our A21 offices in the United States, we have a volunteer who has been with us for a little over a year. Her name is Barbara; she’s seventy-nine years old and just became a follower of Christ a few years ago. She began faithfully attending church and a Bible study, and as a retiree, she thought it was too late to do anything else. She thought she had missed her opportunity to have any kind of Kingdom impact. She has a large family and loads of grandkids that she enjoys taking trips to see, but deep down she wanted to get involved in Kingdom work somewhere. After a long conversation over dinner, I suggested she volunteer at A21. She was a little hesitant at first, wondering if she had anything to offer and daunted by the fact that she would be serving alongside people who were the same age as her grandkids. Yet she decided to take a risk, jump in, and continue to learn and grow.

When she first came to volunteer with us, she was a bit intimidated by all the modern technology we use and having to learn about an area she knew little about, but she was willing. Today, she’s one of our most beloved volunteers, full of gratitude and enthusiasm, and has discovered that she has a real gift for writing notes of encouragement to our supporters.

All the younger women on our team love being around her. Barbara has such a joyful attitude, is a great listener, and has so much wisdom to offer. She recently told Laura, our global team development manager, that volunteering for A21 was one of the best decisions she ever made. What I love is that Barbara has found joy in contributing and continuing to learn and grow at seventy-nine! Instead of regretting the years she missed, she is making her final years count in a significant way. Having a purpose helped her to get unstuck and keep moving forward. What an epic goal for us all.

1.Giovanna Distefano and Bret H. Goodpaster, “Effects of Exercise and Aging on Skeletal Muscle,” Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine 8, no. 3 (March 2018): a029785,

Excerpted with permission from Don’t Look Back by Christine Caine, copyright Caso Writing LLC.

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Your Turn

Don’t give up! If you’re still living, you still have purpose. Different seasons bring different opportunities and choices. Ask the Lord today what He has for you to do for the Kingdom! It might just be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make! ~ Devotionals Daily