Can I discover God at my old age?

I am at older age now, is it good for me to discover God now?

Ayodele B., Birmingham, England

Answer given by Pastor Christian Salcianu,
19th July, 2022 – Watford

First of all congratulations for engaging into our Discover Bible study. And also for your courage to explore, even the existential questions, like knowing God.

You may remember that many of the Bible’s characters were quite advanced in years by the time God called them, either as a first personal encounter or by way of a specific call for a timely mission. Just to give a few examples: Noah was 600 years old when the Flood came, Abraham was 75 years old when God called him out for a blessing, Moses was 80 when God called him at Mount Sinai.

There were, as well, women involved in ministry while serving in their senior years: Miriam, Moses’ older sister must have been in her late eighties if not older. Apostle Paul commends Timothy’s mother and even his grandmother for the faith they testified of. Temple’s servant Anna, when baby Jesus was brought there, “she was of a great age” (Luke 2:36), to be precise she was 84 years old.

We cannot say for sure to what degree they knew God at that specific point in time, when they got the call. But we can definitely say that their image of God changed for the better. And every new experience with God, based on previous ones, will act as a rediscovery.

Probably the best example to fit right into the context of your own personal situation would be the encounter Jesus had with a man called Nicodemus. As the Bible presents it, in the gospel of John chapter 3, it went like this:

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” [You can see he knew God, he knew God’s ways, he was a respected older member of a religious body etc.]

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” [It seems like, unexpectedly, Jesus calls for a rebirth experience.]

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” [You cannot miss this one, right? Nicodemus is acting as if he does not understand Jesus’ point.]

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. [Evidently, Jesus is talking about a spiritual rebirth experience.]

You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ [This is it!]

You can follow the Gospel narrative to see how Jesus leads this old man to see the Messiah in the symbol of the serpent that was lifted up on the pole, exactly as Jesus was to be crucified, some years later.

And – fantastic, if you please – it is then and only then that Nicodemus understands the mission of Jesus, the Son of God. While others saw defeat and failure in the cross, Nicodemus saw victory and salvation.
There is no question about it: he stepped forward – risking his life – to take a stand for Jesus exactly when all the others were running away or staying in the distance. (Read John 19:39.)

So, it seems that Nicodemus’ born-again experience took place when no one expected it, at an old age, towards the end of his religious experience, following a good lifetime review etc. And his decision came at the right time.

To conclude, there is no time to say “oh, it’s just too late for me”. Mind this Bible text in Hebrews 3:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”

We pray you continue to draw closer to God.

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