But I am getting older (approaching my middle fifties) and am increasingly appalled at my lack of wisdom.
Oh, I can be wise, from time to time. I can say the right thing, and do the right thing. I've learned a thing or two about raising children, about being a wife, about living a life before the face of God. I've had younger women thank me for the influence I've had on their lives, and sadly, all I can say is "you don't know me."
If you really knew me, you'd see that all too often I sin with my mouth. And if that's not bad enough, I act in a manner unbecoming a godly woman. Worse, still, I sin where only God sees it - my thoughts are selfish, proud, demanding.
It's not that I never have wisdom. Praise the Lord, I am His child, bought with the precious blood of Christ. He is working on me, and thankfully, there are evidences of grace in my life.
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
I have a few gray hairs. Just a few. Because I am blond, the gray looks like highlights. My husband, however, has a full crown of glory.
The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
I'm quite sure that the gray hair isn't the point. The life lived before the face of God, the minutes and hours and days and years spent walking in this world, learning the inevitability of sinful responses and being astounded at the certainty of God's forgiveness in spite of our sin is the point. The ones with gray hair have walked longer. They've stumbled more. They've fallen to their knees and cried out to God, (Romans 7:24) "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
John Piper said it best. Tim Challies wrote about John Piper discussing the topic of growing older. Tim wrote,
he spoke of growing older and his increasing knowledge of his own sin. "The longer I live the less optimistic I am that I will end without sin and the more grateful I become for the blood of Christ imputed to me. As I grow older I do not feel myself becoming gloriously holy but I find myself feeling great love for the gospel."
Psalm 71:18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Oh, Lord, this is my prayer.
Isaiah 46:4 even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.
Oh, Lord, Your promises are sure and certain. They give me hope. You WILL carry me, You will save.
It's always and only about You, God. If we honour the elderly, it's because You have been gracious to them and have worked in their lives. With age comes wisdom, and You are to be praised.
“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32