Growing Old Gracefully
by Allen Scott
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And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Joshua 14:10-11 (NKJV)
One quarter of a million. That is a rather large number to most people, myself included. One quarter of a million. Say that a few times so that it sinks in. One quarter of a million. That is how many miles my van has driven. The places it has gone. The things that it has seen. The record of all the events that took place during those 250,000 miles. Every inch of that van had to travel those 250,000 miles together. Everything under the hood had to cooperate to accomplish this feat. All working parts had to be maintained in order for the van to make this milestone. 250,000!
I was thinking about this the other day and decided I would put pen to paper to try to capture some of the thoughts that ran through my mind. I have to first mention I am not the original owner of this vehicle, thus I can not take credit for the many miles it journeyed before it became mine. I can attest to the number of miles since.
I had purchased the van a few years ago from a traveling Evangelist and his wife, two lovely people who truly loved what they were doing. They would travel for hours inside that van, to reach their scheduled destination and then unpack to minister to others. After the event, they would again pack their belongings into the van and head for their next destination. They towed a trailer behind them, where they would spend their evenings when on the road. It seemed like a perfect match. Ministry plus van plus trailer equals success. The Lord had truly blessed them with the number of safe and comfortable miles He allowed them to travel inside that van.
The number of people who had received a blessing from these two saints of God must number in the thousands. I would pause to wonder if the number of people reached by this old van equals the miles traveled? Can you imagine a quarter of a million people? The number astounds me!
I am now blessed to be driving this same van but for entirely different reasons. I feel for the most part the poor thing has been put out to pasture for I am not able to travel and minister like the former owners had been able to do. I do take it back and forth to my secular job as well as for Sunday worship services but it is just not the same. The van is still serving me faithfully but I, like the van, have a sense of adventure inside. I feel that if the van had its choice, it would prefer to be on the open road traveling to new places to minister to eager souls who desire a blessing from God. I too long for the freedom of the open road once again.
250,000 miles and still going strong. What a testimony! What a record! The whole time I have owned this vehicle it has proven to be very reliable. Yes the parts are getting old, yes it is not as pretty as it once was but I feel there are still many years of usefulness inside this old van. It seems to be held up by the hand of God Himself. I just sense a perfect peace while driving.
I know that may sound silly to many people but I am reminded what happened as God led the children of Israel through the wilderness for 40 years. None of their clothes wore out and they had plenty during that whole time. The bible even said there were no feeble amongst them. Psalm 105:37. That is a great testimony to the staying power of God, don't you think? I mean it took some doing to keep all them people fed and clothed and healthy. He did it all without government assistance or health care programs.
250,000 miles and still going strong. I am praying for the opportunity to get out into the highways and the byways once again, to compel the people to come to the banquet table, for a feast has been prepared. It is sad to see the state of the human condition these days. I, like Jesus, have to pause and wonder when Christ returns will He find faith on earth? Will He find those who are about the Father's business? Will He find us faithful to His word? Will He find us traveling the pathway that leads toward heaven?
The bible declares that few there will be who will find the way that leads to eternal life. In fact we read in revelation that only 144,000 will bear the mark of the Lord when He seals those who belong to Him. 144,000 is quite a few less than one quarter of a million. Do we ever really take the time to consider such things? Fewer people will be found faithful on that day then the number of miles driven by my van. That is a sobering thought.
Getting older is not something most people look forward to, and certainly not a point in time where they really want to try new things. I have found however the Lord keeps us strong for His work if we truly trust and rely on Him. The word of God declares that is it not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord. (Zech 4:6) The word of the Lord came to Zerubbable to let him know that he was not alone in his work for the Lord. God had promised to be with him and He promises to be with as well.
I, like the van, am getting older but just like Caleb I say give me the hill country for I am just as spry now as I was when I started this journey. There are many souls who need a touch from heaven. There are many more miles to travel before I get home. Lord help me continue on in your good care just like you allowed this old van to keep on operating all these miles.
To eternity and beyond! Happy trails.
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