Our paths first crossed on a chilly Saturday morning at a Bible camp. Her enthusiasm was evident as this elderly woman walked briskly past us, surrounded by several younger women. Intrigued, I glanced back for a second look. As I did, I met the smiling face of one of the younger women who whispered, “She’s 91, and you just missed seeing her run down the path.”
Incredible! My thoughts raced to Philippians 3:12 where an elderly Paul said:
“I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”
Without speaking a word, this precious woman exemplified an attitude of “pressing on.” We were at a camp . . . not exactly a Hyatt Regency! Lodging consisted of bunk beds arranged in groups of twelve with one shared bathroom. Evening teaching sessions began no earlier than 8 p.m., and were held in a chapel with wooden pews. Yet every time I saw her, she was smiling . . . obviously thankful to be a part of what God was doing in the hearts of women that weekend.
At some point in her 91-year journey, Jesus had obviously “laid hold” of her. He had redeemed her; setting her feet on a path to fulfill His Kingdom purposes through her life. But I wondered how she would describe the call on her life. And what kept her motivated to continue “pressing on” even in her old age?
I longed for hours in which to glean the wisdom that surely resided in this woman, but I was given only a few moments. When she leaned toward me, eyes dancing with excitement, she proudly proclaimed, “The last time I counted I had over 250 children!”
Can you imagine? This vibrant woman has devoted her life to “Titus2ing.” The call on her life is the same call that is on my life and yours: to invest in those He brings across our path. I would love to have heard how this older woman infused courage into the lives of other women. How she taught them to love their husbands and children and to be keepers at home. Surely she’d learned great patience over so many years of admonishing the idle, encouraging the fainthearted, and helping the weak.
How might God be calling you to come alongside others in this journey called the Christian life? Who do you know who needs a word of encouragement, instruction, or exhortation? Would you be willing to ask the Lord to make you an influencer for the Kingdom . . . no matter your age or the sacrifices required?