How often we’ve said these words. Years ago, we encouraged a child to ride a bike without training wheels. Now, we urge a grandchild to climb a rock wall at the mall.
But we also whisper the words to ourselves, because we, too, might need a nudge toward bravery.
News reports inform us about everyday people who become unlikely heroes. I doubt that Jerry Rabinowitz told himself, “Today I’ll die a hero,” when he woke up last Saturday morning. But the 66-year-old physician hurried to help injured worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh before he, too, was killed. The account of this brave older adult made the news, but other stories of everyday bravery, that happen all around us, are rarely reported.
- A new widow attempts digital banking for the first time.
- An 80 year old questions a surgeon about a risky procedure.
- An older adult who no longer drives asks for a ride to church.
The face of courage changes as we age, but older adults need a courageous spirit more than ever.
At this time of life, we don’t take unnecessary chances, but we push forward when quitting is an option. We speak up for what is right, even when it is hard. We still make mistakes, but we persevere, for we’ve learned through the years that we can count on God. For after all, it’s our confidence in Him that gives us courage.
We might never be as bold as David when he faced the giant, but we can have courage when facing our own Goliaths.
- When impatient, we know to “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage. (Psalm 17:14 ESV)
- When afraid, we have learned through experience “to be strong and brave. So don’t be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ICB)
- When hesitant, we are “careful. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage, and be strong.” (I Corinthians 16:13 ICB)
Just because we’re getting older, doesn’t mean life is getting easier. Perhaps even today, you or I will need to step forward. Our actions may not make headlines, but that doesn’t decrease the significance of stepping forward. When we trust God to empower us, we have the courage to do great things in His name.
Mary Manz Simon
ALOA Board of Directors