Youth and Old Age

Those that be planted in the house of the LORD… shall still bring forth fruit in old age – Psalm 92:13-14

The psalmist asserts that those who live godly lives will be as strong and healthy as cedar trees (verse 12). There are few who would not like to think of themselves as being strong as a cedar. But it is clear that the promise does not refer to one’s physical body, because the writer goes on to say that even in old age the godly will continue to grow and flourish, living fruitful and prosperous lives.

The reality, of course, for all of us is that as we grow old we physically grow weaker. The psalmist is not denying that inevitable tendency. He is speaking here of that health and heartiness which matters most — the prosperity of one’s soul.

The fact is that one can be in the height of physical health and be withering away on the inside; conversely, a person can find themselves declining in physical strength and yet be growing and thriving within.

What makes the difference? The cedar-like soul is planted in the house of the Lord. The presence of God, and the nourishment of his Word, is lasting and wholesome sustenance for the soul.

If you are feeling the physical effects and limitations of old age, you may have convinced yourself that you are not as useful or productive as you once were. But the reality is that God is not in need of our labors; but he does delight in our worship and gratitude and submission.

This is fruit you can bear in a hospital bed; this is health you can enjoy when you are wracked with pain or confined by weakness.