There is a special place in my heart for the elderly. I love listening to the stories of their lives and seeing pictures of days gone by. Although making it to a certain age surely does not mean you have “made it” and life is without struggles, I found that if I sit and listen, people will share a wisdom that comes with age and living life. It gives me hope. We’ve all been “there”, we can all make it through, God knows best.
I especially love the picture of a praying grandma. A woman whose Bible is never far from her side and whose prayer list is ever-growing. That list is not for show, she talks to Jesus about each and every name and situation on it. The term prayer warrior comes to mind. This must be why I am drawn to Anna who is mentioned in Luke chapter 2 verses 36-40. Four short verses that we can easily blow right by in our daily reading. Stop and look, she has so much to tell us.
The Word says that Anna was a prophetess of great age. From the information given in these verses we can safely say she was in her 90’s. She was a widow for about 84 years; marriages occurred much younger then. We go on to read that she devoted herself to God with prayer and fasting throughout her widowhood. It was no accident then that she was at the right place at the right time to see the babe Jesus brought to the temple to fulfill Jewish law. She did not “ooo” and “ahh” over a sweet, beautiful little baby, because she spent much time with God she knew the Truth as verse 38 tells us:
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Just as devoted Simeon had moments before, Anna knew this child was the Messiah, the Savior of the world. She thanked God and she spread the Good News!
Through God’s word, Anna has wisdom to share with us. First, and most obvious, we are never too old to serve God. There is a world of people around us that need prayer. Prayer matters. There is also a world of people around us that need to hear the good news of Christ’s salvation. Of course we do not need to and shouldn’t wait to be of a certain age to go about our Father’s work for us, but we need to stop discounting ourselves and those around us because we have reached a certain age. Keep going the Kingdom needs you!
Another point I see here is that Anna did not fill her time with a bunch of different activities to keep herself busy. She spent her time with God and God’s people. She prayed, she fasted. I believe she knew scripture because she knew God in the flesh when he was right in front of her. Again, no matter what our age, this is quite contrary to popular opinion, but God can’t use us if He doesn’t really have our attention.
I pray that this encourages all of us no matter what our age to spend more time with God in His word, so that we are always ready, always connected to our Father in heaven. God sees no limits in us, Lord, let us see ourselves through Your eyes. Amen