If I asked you to define Job’s life, what would you say? Probably most would define it as suffering or sorrow, but God defines Job’s life as filled. We come to the end of the book (Job 42:17) and we read this phrase, “So Job died, being old and full of days.”
Similar phrases are used to describe the death of others. It’s used for Abraham, who lived to be 175 years old (Genesis 25:8). It’s used for his son Isaac (Genesis 35:29) who died at the age of 180. It’s also used for King David (1 Chronicles 29:28) who lived to be about 70. This phrase doesn’t mean length of life as much as it does quality of life and fulfilled purposes in life.
We see Job not as a struggling, cranky, bitter, old codger that no one enjoyed being around. This man lived with a refreshed sense of urgency to teach and train and treasure his children and grandchildren.
What an enviable way to reach the end! He didn’t live happily ever after, and he wasn’t escorted directly into the heavenly gates. Instead he went back to doing exactly what he was doing in Job 1, living a life that was upright, fearing God, and eschewing evil.
Don’t be fooled, he had a tough road ahead of him. Mrs. Job had abandoned him, but they worked that out—they had 10 more children! He lost his businesses, but God blessed his future endeavors, doubling his companies. At one point he had wished himself dead; but God gave him another 140 years. Job pulled through all of this and lived a fulfilled life.
I’d like to offer several tips on how to stay young. No matter how young you are, you’ll be old someday; and when you are, you’ll need to review these.
Nobody wants to be around a cranky old person who only sees clouds and talks about bad weather. Your mind isn’t old, so keep developing it. Watch less television and read more books. Spend time with people who talk about events and ideas rather than sitting around talking about how sorry this younger generation has become.
I love being around older people who still see the sunny side of life. They find humor in life and enjoy it; they can tell a great story; they enjoy a loud belly laugh. A good laugh helps remove some of the lines on your face. Don’t lose your humor!
Your strength isn’t gone, so keep using it. Guard against becoming isolated and immobile. Quit talking about how weak you are and how others will have to do things for you; jump in there and be involved. You will find yourself in more demand the more involved you are.
There are people all around you who could use an encouraging word, an affirming note, or a phone call that says, “I love you and believe in you, and I’m praying for you.” You have been down the road several times that many are just now going down for the first time. They could use a pat on the back and a confident friend to travel with them. Life has blessed you with experiences that others can benefit from. Use them!
God is not dead; keep serving and seeking Him. The living God is ageless. The Lord Jesus Christ is timeless and ever-relevant. Continue to enjoy some time alone with your Lord! Some of the greatest prayer warriors in our church are elderly saints.
If Job could finish full of days, so can we. Let’s stay active in serving Him. This is one of the best reasons for staying involved at your local church. There are many avenues of service for those who are available, whose attitudes are positive, and whose minds are active and alert.