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 (Psalm 90:10). 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. 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.