Somewhere along the way in life, people say we enter the golden years. That is supposed to mean years of ease, happiness, contentment and positive expectations.
The Bible tells us that life comes to an end at about 70 or 80 years (Psalms 90:10 Psalms 90:10The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
American King James Version×). We live in a time of good health care, plenty of food and sanitary conditions, and we have learned a lot about the human body. Some live to be 100 years old. Generally, those who refer to old age as the golden years have not yet reached old age. Old age brings aches and pains in parts of our body that we never knew existed, it seems. It is a wonderful thing to live a long life, and it is a blessing from God if we do. But for many seniors, life is a challenge and does not seem golden.
The Bible refers to old age as the “difficult days” to come. Days in which we find little to be happy about, we grow nervous and fearful, our eyesight grows dim, we wake at the slightest sound (or our hearing fails), music and dancing lose their pleasure, little things get too heavy to lift or carry, desire fails and we are staring at the fact that our body is growing weaker and is reaching the end of life. Eternity stretches before us. This description comes from Ecclesiastes 12:1-5 Ecclesiastes 12:1-5 1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw near, when you shall say, I have no pleasure in them;
2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;
5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goes to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
American King James Version×. We know we are made of dust and will return to dust. The golden years can be golden years if our relationship with God has been nourished and is strong. We have no choice but to accept what life offers and make the most of it, but we do have a choice in the way we perceive life. We can be thankful for each day when each day is filled with the hope of a different and better future. “Golden” has a different meaning.