A friend, Don Jones, sent this quote to me: Never too Old. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis.
The Lord seems to say the same thing in Psalm 92. “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree…..They shall still bring forth fruit in old age.” (NKJV)
Never too old. Flourish like the palm tree. I like the sound of that in this season of my life.
Palm trees weather storms and hurricanes because they bend with the wind. Many times we become rigid and have a tendency to break in the storms of life. Take a lesson from this beautiful tree, ask the Lord for the ability to bend. Sometimes we get so set in our ways, or think we are so right that we forget there might be another side to the situation, another avenue to take to find His perfect will in the storm. Patience, kindness, gentleness, long suffering are fruit of the spirit that go a long way when the winds of adversity blow.
Palm trees adapt and adjust to their habitat, whether dry, wet, sandy or barren. Maybe the circumstances in which we find ourselves are not necessarily to our liking or our expectations. Perhaps situations have shifted and we must move or make big adjustments. Does that mean the Lord has somehow forgotten us? No! His grace is constantly and consistently available to us and is ever sufficient in our lives. He invariably has a good plan for a hope and a future for us regardless of our age or situation. He is unceasingly working on our behalf. As we adjust, others are watching. Perhaps it is for them that we are such a difficult situation, so that they may learn from us how to adapt, to adjust and accept their own new ‘habitat.’
I was reminded by my sister, Chalie, that the most outstanding attribute of palm trees is they produce fruit until the very end of their lives. The older the tree, the sweeter the fruit. Isn’t God good to save the best til the last! To keep us looking forward with anticipation rather than backward with regret. There is always more with the Lord. The best is yet to be! I remind my children that the vintage wine is the most expensive and usually the best.
As I was reading “The River Walk” blog I learned that Mr. Roget, of Roget’s Thesaurus did not begin to write this book until he was 70 years old. The only reason he began working on it was because he was forced to retire at 70. His first thesaurus was published when he was 73 and he kept improving and updating it until he died 17 years later. Nelson Mandela become president of South Africa at 76. Caleb dared to dream of taking his mountain of giants at 85. God gave Moses a new vision and a new call at 80. God had a job for Moses and it took 80 years to prepare him for it.
God saved the sweetest fruit, the best, until last in all of these people. And He does the same for us.
I am thankful for the wisdom of palm tree Christians that the Lord has place in my life. From them I have gleaned wisdom, encouragement and courage. Now, I’m older and I hope wiser. My prayer is that I too can be like the palm tree that flourishes in all habitats, bends in the worst storms and produces the sweetest fruit at the end!
If you are 20, 40, or 80, I challenge you to be like the palm tree. Embrace your habitat and adjust, look straight into the storm with courage and strength because you have learned to bend and not break. And above all release the fruit of love, joy and peace extravagantly! There are those around you who are watching and perhaps longing for the taste of the sweet Holy Spirit you have to offer.
You are never too old to dream another dream, set a new goal or conquer another mountain. Go for it!