The Quiet Beauty of Growing Old

Liz Pineda

Contributing Writer
Updated Apr 15, 2024
The Quiet Beauty of Growing Old

Let us then embrace each season of life, knowing that each phase of the journey is crucial in allowing God to sculpt us into vessels of His light, love, and righteousness.

The obsession to remain youthful even at an advanced age is all too familiar. Many have yielded to the allure of battling hard to remain youthful despite the visible onset of age. But can we fault women for having themselves subjected to such drastic measures to look young? Our world seems to vilify old age as if it’s a scourge we need to weed out. No wonder many are more than willing to take the risk, undeterred by the fallout that could result from it.

(Note: We do not demean women who resort to surgeries to make themselves look good. We don’t carry the same burden. The capacity to endure life’s challenges is not the same for everyone.) 

As Christians, we are taught not to conform to the ways of the world. We can disagree and correct each other by offering sound advice—but we are discouraged from judging others for the way they live their lives.

For it is written: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 NIV

Society’s Blindness to the Beauty of Aging

The pursuit of staying youthful has overshadowed the merits and blessings that accompany a woman transitioning into the richness of seasoned years. Quite simply, the season of aging does not get the respect and honor it truly deserves. It seems that, as a society, we have forgotten that there is beauty to be had in every season of life. 

Ecclesiastes  3:11 shares: “Each season has a significant purpose in our life, as God designs.”

God has ordained each phase of life for a reason. As such, there are lessons to be learned, beauty to unravel, and gifts to be opened through every chapter of our journey. As Christian women, it is our ardent wish not to miss these blessings. We can only do so by yielding to how our God intricately designs each season, embracing each phase of our journey with all its ups and downs.

As we step into the unknown, it is okay to be realistic about the difficulties that come with growing old. Of course, we should not be oblivious, nor should we deprive ourselves of the joy that awaits us, including the gifts of old age that are worth keeping and celebrating.

The Stark Reality of Growing Old

In extolling the quiet beauty of old age, we don’t intend to disregard the inconveniences it brings. Loss of youth, blurred vision, declining health, aches and pains, loneliness, and so on are enough to dampen someone's spirit. It is not easy to see a once vibrant and strong frame slowly fading, giving way to the frailty of old age. Nonetheless, despite these challenges, we are a people who live with hope.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NIV

Our life here on earth is temporary, and so is our discomfort. Knowing that our life is fleeting and that our struggles are a preparation for eternity, we will live brimming with blissful expectations of what’s to come, not fearing the future because we have a God who is faithful.

Let’s be reminded of how the faithful servant of God, Abraham, died:

“Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man full of years; and he was gathered to his people.” Genesis 25:8-9 NIV

Furthermore, God understands the hardships that old people endure. As such, He made a vow to those who put their hope and trust in Him:

“Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Isaiah 46:4 NKJV

The word “sustain” doesn't mean the absence of pain. It simply means “to endure without giving way or yielding.”

Thus, the supernatural grace of God will enable us to endure, carry on, and live life to the full despite being encumbered by life’s challenges and discomfort.

God Never Promised Us a Life Free of Pain

The Lord never said that our days would always be filled with the things our heart longs for. Nevertheless, though we are not promised an easy life, He assured us of one thing–the presence of His peace even in the midst of our struggles. 

How many times have we come across people who’ve been through life’s most searing tribulations blurt out the following sentiment: “Until now I could not, for the life of me, figure out how I could have possibly survived such an ordeal?”

By embracing life's hardships, like the passage of time, with grace, we can fully experience the blessings of old age in all its beauty and complexity. While we’re losing the benefits of youth, we’re also evolving into the person God has envisioned us to be, honed by the richness of our difficult but profound and invaluable life experiences.

These are the lessons that enrich our lives, similar to rare treasures that no amount of worldly indulgences can replicate or be equal to. Thus, searing trials may have scarred our hearts, but, nonetheless, they purified our souls, enabling us to grow in wisdom and virtue.

Old age provides benefits. Growing old may present us with new limitations and restrictions, but it more than offsets the drawbacks with the blessings it brings—blessings we wish we had the privilege to relish when we were young, such as the following:

Freedom from the Pain of Criticism

Gone are the days when other people’s shallow criticisms cut deep to the heart. Insecurities and low self-esteem plague the young. We’ve all been there; being called all sorts of names for what others deem imperfect in our appearance. From elementary to high school, I was called names, earning several monikers. And one of the subtlest monikers hurled at me was "lamppost," owing to my extremely thin and curveless frame. 

Without a doubt, criticism could inflict deep emotional scars. Bearing the brunt of ridicule left our young and unseasoned hearts feeling utterly crushed. But as we get older and wiser, we begin to develop this nonchalant response to frivolous slights–criticisms that used to trigger weeping sessions for hours on end no longer sting like they once did— because as the white strands of hair start showing up, a quiet confidence and resilience of character also bubble to the surface.

More Financial Flexibility

Back in the day, earning money to make ends was the norm, deprived of the freedom to engage in work that brings you joy. Today, as your financial responsibilities diminish, you can pursue the hobbies and activities you’ve been putting off for years.

The Gift of Wisdom

Wisdom comes with age. Those irrational decisions we made in the past could only make us cringe. Nonetheless, we no longer beat ourselves up for our past mistakes. As we get older, we also learn to give ourselves the same grace we extend to others.

Moreover, our decisions are no longer based on impulse but a result of years of navigating life’s complex crossroads. Our decision-making skills have been refined to provide the best possible outcome thanks to the wealth of knowledge accumulated over many years of life's twists and turns.

Purified Faith

Faith is tested not in times of abundance but in times of hardships. Having reached this twilight season of life, you have traversed and endured many of life’s searing trials. 

Nonetheless, these challenges that could have easily eclipsed your faith in God have only deepened your relationship with Him–proving your steadfast loyalty and unwavering commitment to continue walking along the path God has laid out for you. As a result, you’ve grown in spiritual maturity and wisdom–a spiritual breakthrough that can only be refined like gold in a furnace and tested over time.

Encouragement as You Age

Consider these Scriptures for hope and encouragement as you age:

“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:2-5 NIV

“I said, ‘Age should speak, And multitude of years should teach wisdom.’" Job 32:7 NKJV

"Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD." Leviticus 19:32 NIV

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4 NIV

“With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:16 NIV

"Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD." Leviticus 19:32 NIV

‘They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.’ Psalm 92:14 KJV

“Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.” Psalm 71:9 NKJV

"You shall come to the grave at a full age, As a sheaf of grain ripens in its season." Job 5:26 NKJV

“And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.” 1 Kings 3:14 KJV

The appeal and charm of radiant and fresh-faced beauty may only be attributed to the young, but a different kind of loveliness and grace can only be found in old age. Let us then embrace each season of life, knowing that each phase of the journey is crucial in allowing God to sculpt us into vessels of His light, love, and righteousness.

Related Resource: Comparing Today's Self to Your Younger Self?

Are you stuck comparing who you are today to who you were ten, twenty, or more years ago? If so, today's episode of Compared to Who? is for you. We're going to talk about how to stop comparing yourself to your younger self. We'll explore how we tend to romanticize and idealize those older versions of ourselves. We'll also look at how to reprogram our brains and accept the reality that a changing body is more normal than not as we age.

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