Fifty is the New Eighty-Five

For the past week, I've talked about my dread of turning fifty to everyone I know. I've shuddered whenever the topic of my birthday came up. I've lamented the passing of my forties, a decade I've loved. I told my husband, "Half a century! How did his happen? Just yesterday I was thirty."

So when I awoke the morning of my birthday, imagine my surprise when I felt no sense of dread. No depression. No sadness at all. In the first moments of wakefulness, a Cheshire-cat smile took possession of me before I even opened my eyes. I made it! I'm fifty, and I feel great.

During my morning Bible study, I felt the urge to do something I haven’t done in a long time – I asked the Lord to give me a Scripture, and opened the Bible at random. The first verse I saw was Joshua 13:1.

When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the Lord said to him, "You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.”

Joshua, if you remember, was Moses’ successor who led the Israelites into the Promised Land to take possession of their inheritance from the Lord. I have to admit, my attention pricked to alert when I read that passage. I scanned through the rest of the chapter, expecting to see the place where the Lord told Joshua, “You’re old, so I’m going to put someone else in charge.” You know what? It didn’t happen. Instead, God goes on for ten more chapters, outlining all the things he wanted Joshua to do before he could retire. In other words, God was saying to Joshua, “You’re not getting any younger, dude, and you’ve still got a lot to do. Get busy!”

In the next chapter, Caleb, who was forty when he and Joshua first surveyed the Promised Land, comes to Joshua to talk about his inheritance. Here’s what he says:

“Here I am today, eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.”

Isn’t God awesome? He knew I needed some encouragement, and He gave it to me. And not only encouragement, but I believe He’s telling me, “Fifty? Psshhtt! Don’t let that get you down. I’ve got lots of things for you to do, and you’ve got plenty of strength and vigor to get them done. So get busy!”

I think the fifties are going to be my best decade yet. I’ve still got a lot of Promised Land to claim!