Monday Memo 1154: Wisdom Dispensers

As we move on in our 'Never Too Old for Purpose' series, we see another messenger arrive after Simeon was finished speaking to Jesus' family in the Temple:

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38).

Anna had been married for seven years when her husband died and was 84 when she met Jesus, so she had probably been a widow for more than sixty years. She was recognized as a prophet (so much for those who think women should not be allowed a ministry role) and was probably given living quarters in the Temple, which is why she was there "day and night."

So while Anna had a title and a place in the "church" of her day, few people were listening to her any longer. Yet she continued to faithfully do what she knew to do and God was watching. While the priests and other officials had long ago disregarded her ministry, she went right to some of the "common people," namely Joseph and Mary, to share what God had shown her concerning their son. We aren't told if she was able to pass that information on to anyone else.

If you grow old in the Lord, you will accumulate wisdom from your experiences. Not everyone will want the wisdom you can dispense, but some will. And you should position yourself, as Anna did, to be able to share what you see and know with those who will listen. That means you will have to accept a diminished role in the eyes of some, but not in the eyes of God. How did Luke know about this story between Anna and Jesus? Undoubtedly Mary told him fifty years later when he interviewed her while writing his gospel account.

Are you willing to accept a smaller but still important role in God's master plan as you grow older? Are you willing to mentor and direct the young, those who are willing to listen? Can you be faithful to do what you know to do whether you have an audience or not?

As I write, I am 74 years old. I no longer have a role in a local church; those are now filled by younger men. But I write, consult, counsel, edit, and coach as God provides the opportunities all over the world. I'm working diligently to provide a legacy of material on social media and through my books that God can use now or after I'm gone in whatever way He chooses, which includes not using them at all. I invite you to join me as a wisdom dispenser to those who are willing and able to hear.

And one more thing: If you're young(er) and reading this, I hope you live a long life. But if you do, keep in mind that one day you will be where I am today. So take a moment every now and then to pay attention to what an older person has to say for one day you'll be looking for the same listening ears that we are hoping to find today. Have a blessed week.



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