By Larry Ray Hafley
The hoary (white, gray) head is a crown of glory if it be found in the way of righteousness (Prov. 16:31).
This church is blessed with many such crowns of glory. We are blessed by a number of older members whose lives are an example for those who are younger. They have their chronic aches and pains, but they press on. Humbly and quietly, they struggle to attend worship with ailments that would keep many of us at home. They have lost loved ones whose loss they still keenly feel, but they do not murmur and complain. They bear their griefs and sorrows with uncommon grace and dignity.
Their steps are slower, but their feet are still shod with the gospel of peace. Their eyes have grown dim, but their hearts glow with the radiance of righteousness. Their hearing has grown dull, but their spiritual ears are attentive and able to “hear what the Spirit saith” in the word of God (Rom. 10:8, 17; Rev. 2:7). Their backs are bent and bowed with the weight and care of many years of heartache and heart-break, but their faith is upright and strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Thus, with Paul they can rejoice and gladly say, “We do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). Also, with Paul, the rest of us can say, as he said of the Philippians, they are our “brethren dearly be-loved and longed for, (our) joy and crown” (Phil. 4:1).
They have “a reputation for good works.” They have “brought up children.” They have “shown hospitality to strangers.” They have “washed the saints’ feet.” They have “assisted those in distress.” They have “devoted” themselves “to every good work” (1 Tim. 5:10). Their works of faith, labors of love, and patience of hope are a daily demonstration and inspiration to us, their children. As such, we should rise up and call them blessed (Prov. 31:28). “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him” (Mal. 3:17).
Guardian of Truth XL: No. 22, p. 9
November 21, 1996