Gladys Porteous - Youth So Rarely Understands - 1992

Youth so rarely understands what age allows us to know.  We need to go through many life experiences before the power within us is brought forward in all its glory.  As long as we see ourselves as unfolding beings, there is no wish to go back one single day, and age becomes a beautiful thing.  Elderly folks that keep so youthful are a real inspiration.  Maybe it is because they are not so taken up with the body and temporal things.  So glad God’s people can know days full of blessing, and when they pass into eternity, their vessel is still full because of Christ.  We are thankful for labour that is not in vain in the Lord.

Age does not protect you from love, but love, to some extent protects us from age.  1st Samuel 23:1, “Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshing floors.” The wheat had survived the enemies of the sowing and the growing season, but now at the time of harvest it was being robbed - not destroyed.  The enemy robs God’s people towards the end of their lives.  Even if he didn’t take away their salvation, he can succeed in taking away from them their peace of mind, rest of heart, and even prey on their minds that they are not useful anymore, and weaken their trust and confidence.

Ecclesiastes 12:6, "Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the cistern…” Even if the silver cord is loose and can’t keep things together too well anymore, and the golden bowl is broken and can’t retain things very long, they are still silver and gold.  Even if the pitcher is broken at the fountain and we can’t pour out like we once did, we are still at the “fountain.” Let me grow lovely, growing old.  So many fine things do: laces and ivory and silks and gold; and there’s healing in old trees; old streets a glamour hold.  Why may not I, as well as these, grow lovely growing old?

There is a difference between usefulness and fruitfulness.  Could it be, when the disciples were arguing about who was to be the greatest that their focus was on usefulness?  Everyone wants to be useful in the Kingdom - better to be fruitful.  A shade tree is useful - the bigger the better.  A fruit tree doesn’t have to be biggest to be the best, and yet it can be very useful too.  The problem with focusing on usefulness is that when we get old and not so able, we are likely to face discouragement and disappointment in the way of God.  If our focus is on fruitfulness, we can have the fruit of the Spirit when health is gone.

 - Gladys Porteous was 96 years old at this time.