“My Help Is From Jehovah”
When Old Age Becomes “a Crown of Beauty”
“THE best life possible,” said 101-year-old Muriel. “Truly a privilege!” is how 70-year-old Theodoros put matters. “I could not have used my life in a better way,” stated Maria at the age of 73. All of them had spent a lifetime in service to Jehovah God.
Such older ones are typical of many active worshipers of Jehovah worldwide. Despite advancing age, health concerns, and other adverse circumstances, they still serve God in a whole-souled way. In the Christian congregation, such faithful older ones are respected examples of godly devotion. Jehovah highly esteems the service of elderly ones, even though they may be limited by their circumstances.*—2 Corinthians 8:12.
The book of Psalms makes a fitting observation about the quality of life faithful older ones can expect to have. They can be like an old and stately tree that remains productive. Regarding faithful older ones, the psalmist sang: “They will still keep on thriving during gray-headedness, fat and fresh they will continue to be.”—Psalm 92:14.
Some may fear that they will be cast aside and ignored when old age causes their vitality to wane. David beseeched God: “Do not throw me away in the time of old age; just when my power is failing, do not leave me.” (Psalm 71:9) What makes the difference between failing and flourishing in old age? The godly quality of righteousness. “The righteous himself will blossom forth as a palm tree does,” sang the psalmist.—Psalm 92:12.
Those who have filled their lives with faithful service to God tend to keep bearing good fruit in their senior years. In effect, many of the seeds they have planted in their own life or that of others sprout and mature into a harvest of goodness. (Galatians 6:7-10; Colossians 1:10) Of course, people who have squandered their lives in self-centered pursuits that ignore God’s ways usually have little of value to show as they get older.
Righteousness as an adornment of old age is also emphasized in the Bible book of Proverbs. There we read: “Gray-headedness is a crown of beauty when it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31) Yes, righteousness is a manifestation of inner beauty. Pursuing a righteous course during a long life brings respect. (Leviticus 19:32) Gray hair when accompanied by wisdom and virtue results in honor.—Job 12:12.
To Jehovah, an upright life spent in his service is beautiful. The Scriptures say: “Even to one’s old age I [Jehovah] am the same One; and to one’s gray-headedness I myself shall keep bearing up. I myself shall certainly act, that I myself may carry and that I myself may bear up and furnish escape.” (Isaiah 46:4) How comforting it is to know that our loving heavenly Father promises to sustain and support his loyal ones in their old age!—Psalm 48:14.
Since a life spent in faithful service to Jehovah is beautiful from his standpoint, does it not also merit the respect of others? Reflecting God’s view, we treasure elderly fellow believers. (1 Timothy 5:1, 2) Let us therefore look for practical ways to show Christian love in caring for their needs.
Onto the Path of Righteousness Later in Life
“In the path of righteousness there is life,” Solomon assures us. (Proverbs 12:28) Advanced age does not prevent someone from getting on this path later in life. In Moldova, for instance, a 99-year-old man had devoted his youth to promoting Communist ideals. He was proud that he had personally had conversations with renowned Communist leaders, such as V. I. Lenin. With the decline and fall of Communism, however, this elderly man’s life lost purpose and direction. But when Jehovah’s Witnesses showed him that God’s Kingdom is the only real solution to mankind’s problems, he embraced Bible truth and became an avid student of the Scriptures. Only death prevented him from becoming a baptized servant of Jehovah.
When learning about God’s moral requirements, an 81-year-old woman in Hungary realized that she needed to get married to the man with whom she had been living for several years. The woman summoned all her courage and explained her Bible-based viewpoint to her partner. To her great surprise and joy, he agreed to marry her. After their union was legalized, she made rapid spiritual progress. Within eight months after the start of her Bible study, she became an unbaptized publisher, and she was baptized soon thereafter. How true it is that righteousness can crown older ones with real beauty!
Yes, faithful older Christians can be certain of God’s interest in them. Jehovah will not abandon those who remain loyal to him. Rather, he promises to guide, support, and sustain them even into old age. And they attest to the psalmist’s words: “My help is from Jehovah.”—Psalm 121:2.
See the 2005 Calendar of Jehovah’s Witnesses, January/February.
[Blurb on page 9]
“Gray-headedness is a crown of beauty when it is found in the way of righteousness.”—PROVERBS 16:31
[Box on page 8]
JEHOVAH CARES FOR HIS OLDER SERVANTS
“Before gray hair you should rise up, and you must show consideration for the person of an old man.”—Leviticus 19:32.
“Even to one’s old age I am the same One; and to one’s gray-headedness I myself shall keep bearing up.”—Isaiah 46:4.