Ed, my old neighbour in Saskatchewan, feels that you should never ask seniors, especially family members, how they are. They will tell you way more than you want to hear. I told Ed yesterday that the older we get, we find saying that we are fine just doesn’t cut it anymore. Besides, if you do not want to hear how we golden oldies are keeping, tell us that we are looking well. We won’t argue with you, and we’ll let you tell us how you are because it will be nothing compared to our problems.
I told Ed that there is an Ezekiel text that sounds like old men and women talking as they complain; “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ It wasn’t that the people in our text were all old folks, but they were exiles, captives of war sent to Babylon. They were cut off from their temple at Jerusalem, their city and homeland as prisoners of war. Their hope of being released and able to return to Jerusalem was gone. They felt dead or hopeless, like dry bones or skeletons left to decay on an ancient battlefield.
Ezekiel was God’s prophet among the Babylonian exiles. God had shown Ezekiel that nothing is impossible for God to accomplish. Ezekiel saw a valley full of old dry bones come alive with sinew, flesh, skin and breath so the bones were a great army on its feet once more before his very eyes. It was the word of God that made the bones come alive. Ezekiel knew that he was a prophet of the Lord God Almighty who can do whatever He says or promises.(Ezekiel 37:1-14)
When God’s people are running on empty or low in spirit and life in His name, God, will restore and renew us if we ask Him to do so. God wants us to have new life and power in His name. God wants us to have a growing faith in Him and to find victory in the worst and best circumstances before us. God told Ezekiel to promise the exiles of blessings to come with the words, “You shall know that I am the Lord, I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live.”
As senior citizens, we may act like getting older is like being a prisoner of war doomed and without any hope in the future. We may forget the promise of heaven is the reward of our journey day by day in old age. God calls us to see Him as the one who is right and good for all ages. He can give new life to our crumbling faith. He even restores us from our graves.
Our faith in Jesus and God the Father can run low at this time of pandemic. God waits to enliven us, stretch and renew us. Turn us from lower to higher intensity. Whether you old like me or younger like most people, we all need God to whisper, nudge or dramatically fill us with His Spirit through His word, so that we are empowered to witness about Jesus Christ who is the way and truth and life for all.