Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for - Lonely Little Lady Lavishes Her Long Life in Liberal Liturgy and Loving Labor for Her Lord

(Title Translation:  How To Live A Long Time.) 
Do you want to live a long, fulfilling life?  There are many tips for increasing your life expectancy.  I read a study, just a few years ago, suggesting that people who attend church regularly, live longer than those who do not attend.  Ann Landers referenced that same study in one of her columns.  In it she listed regular worship service attendance as one of nine suggestions for living longer, healthier lives. 

I love it when the world's "wisdom" discovers "new truth" that is validated in the Word of God.  In Psalm 9:14,16, the Lord says, "Because he has loved Me...I will...honor him.  With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation."

Is there a valid correlation between worship and longevity?  Those who knew Anna might think so.  No one knows for sure just how old she was when she died but she was very old.  She married at a very young age  and after just seven years, her husband died.  She never remarried but remained a widow for 84 years.
Having spent the last 16 years working in a ministry that provides care for the frail elder, it has been my privilege to know many who have given generously of their time and resource in service to God.  But often, when resources, strength, and abilities are diminished, many of them feel like they can no longer be of use in Christian ministry.

We can all learn from Anna.  She was not a particularly great woman, as we might define greatness, but she was a great servant of the Lord.  At the age of approximately 104, she was still active in her service and devotion.  

Three things characterized her life right up to the end:
  1. She was regular in her attendance to worship.
  2. She was constant in prayer.
  3. She was faithful to proclaim her hope in her redeemer.
And, just as He promised in Psalm 91:14, the Lord honored her because she loved Him.  And He immortalized her in the pages of scripture: 
"And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin,  and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.  And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem."  Luke 2:36-38

1 comment:

Dawn said...

So, Dad, I just read this passage a couple days ago. You would have thought I would have guessed it was that Anna. Thanks for the encouragement from the life of a godly woman.