I have preached for the same church for over 40 years. I have watched families go through many passages of life. For example, I married one couple when I first worked with this church and have watched her deal with the death of her father and the aging of her mother. We rejoiced with this couple when their sons were born and now those boys are godly men and husbands and fathers themselves.
I was once a young preacher responding to comments such as “Some day you will be a good preacher,” to currently, “How much longer are you going to preach, Steve?” My toddler son is now in his early forties and he and his wife have two children of their own.
Passages of life remind us of how quickly life moves and how little time we actually have on this earth, even if we live to be 90 or 100.
Not many Bible characters give us a full accounting of the passages of their lives, but one whose life is told in stages is Joseph. He was seventeen when he was sold into Egypt. He was 30 when he was made overseer of the famine years in Egypt. He was 39 when his brothers first came to Egypt, and he was probably 41 when the brothers came a second time and then brought Jacob to Egypt. Joseph was 110 when he died. At each of these stages he had different roles to play and each period brought with it different responsibilities and circumstances.
We should be grateful to live through each passage. Often you may hear young people say, “I can’t wait until I can drive a car,” or “I want to get out of school and get a job; I’m tired of school.” As an adult, you hear people say, “Retirement can’t come too soon for me.” And then as we age you may hear, “I wish I could still….” So often we yearn for the future or live in the past instead of appreciating the present.
Each year of life is special and gives us unique opportunities. Let’s be grateful for whatever age we are and make the most of whatever passage in life we may be in. As the Psalmist wrote, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24.)