No One Knows Their Expiration Date! … Hello weekend readers! I am writing this devotion before we take off this week to Platoro, Colorado to spend 5 glorious days in a rustic cabin at almost 11,000 feet! Yep, we’re taking our winter clothing as the evenings will be chilly and if rain happens, it will be snow! One of our campers asked me “so you get a week off, what are you up to?” I told her and she said, oh, at my age, I won’t risk it, so I had to ask her what the risk was. “Well, what if I slip off the trail and roll down the mountain?” She really did have that fear. “I mostly like to sit and read, watch TV, come up here to watch the sunrise and it makes me less fearful of aging.” We spoke a bit more, and then she waved good-bye.

I couldn’t help but think of her fear of aging that no doubt included dying. I knew she lost her husband a couple years ago so she is alone and her kids are far away, yet she is really in great health but fearful to do anything. It reminded me of a dear friend whose doctor told her she had breast cancer and 6 months to live. She quickly said “do you see a toe tag on my foot – no way – God determines my expiration date, NOT YOU!” She did finally die from her cancer—14 years later.

Pastor Chuck Swindoll once said: “Let’s recognize that age has little to do with ability.” For instance, Ted Williams, at age 42 slammed a home run in his last official time at bat; Golda Meir was 71 when she became prime minister of Israel; George Bernard Shaw was 94 when one of his plays was first produced; and Benjamin Franklin was a framer of the United States Constitution when he was 81.”

The Bible weighs in on this as well. Think of it: if age were an obstacle to achievement, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Anna—and a long line of other biblical characters would have never been used to do incredible things for God, such as: Abraham raised Isaac, the child of promise; Moses delivered God’s people from slavery; and Samuel anointed the young shepherd boy David to one day be king. All these men and women of the Bible were in their twilight years but they never quit! They weren’t worried about death because they believed that this was God’s timing—not theirs.

King David, in his old age, penned Psalm 71, often called the “old-age psalm!” Here is a portion of that from the New Century Version:

“Even though I am old and gray, do not leave me, God. I will tell the children about your power; I will tell those who live after me about your might. God, your justice reaches to the skies. You have done great things; God, there is no one like you. You have given me many troubles and bad times, but you will give me life again. When I am almost dead, you will keep me alive. You will make me greater than ever and you will comfort me again.”

My mother turns 95 on October 3 this year. She is an amazing ‘energizer-bunny.’ This year she’s had some setbacks, mild heart attack, more loss of hearing, etc., but she just doesn’t give up. In fact, when she calls me and tells me what she is doing I feel exhausted! Truly she is a ‘Timex, She won’t quit until God calls her home. I remember when she went through her ovarian cancer treatments. As weak as she was, every day she went up and down the halls at Cancer Treatments of America in Illinois, and cheered people up. The nurses dubbed her “Mrs. Encouragement!”

I have asked her “where does all this come from, Mom?” The answer is always a passion for living, for helping another person, to spread encouragement. She can’t stand senior living places where folks just lie in a bed until the end. She goes in there with love, and pep, sends cards—hundreds every month—and so much more. She’s right, it is passion, and no matter how young or old we are, we need to be ignited…and guess what, the Holy Spirit is our igniter who breathes in strength, wisdom, even zest for living, and the JOY of being a child of God. She fills us with what we need each day—young or old.

So, dear friends, let’s be encouraged today knowing that God’s plans for our lives don’t have an expiration date. In fact, God’s biggest adventure for us may be just around the bend, or the mountain, or…you get it! AMEN.