Ann Farabee: Old and stricken?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2022

By Ann Farabee

There will come a day you will notice. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you can fight it off, it shows up anyway.

We are all getting older.

I consider myself an expert on getting older because I have had a lot of experience.

For me, getting older has been characterized by a weak knee, a weak hip, weak lungs, high cholesterol, memory problems, wrinkles and being tired.

That’s about it, unless I forgot something — which I probably did.

Good news, I exercise. Bad news, I do not eat properly.

Good news, I eat ice cream every day. Bad news, I should not eat ice cream every day.

When I finally get to the bed each evening, it feels as if it is where I belong. It is as if my bed had been waiting on me all day. Pillows propped up perfectly. Ahhh — I made it another day. Time to rest!

Joshua 13:1 says that the Lord was speaking to Joshua, who was old and stricken in years.

The word “stricken” isn’t actually in our vocabulary, but I think we get the idea.

And, the verse could be read with my name in it instead of Joshua’s name. “Ann was old and stricken in years.” It sounds a bit offensive to me, but it is in the Bible, so I chose to keep looking at it.

The word “stricken” can mean:

  • Affected or overwhelmed by
  • Made incapable or unfit
  • Like being hit and wounded by a missile

I specifically identify with No. 3, although Joshua at this time was between 85-100 years old — and I am way younger than that!

In the next part of the verse, the Lord pointed it out again, “You are old and stricken in years.” Then the verse says, “Take a break. You have done enough.” Oh, so sorry! I accidentally misquoted that!

The Lord actually said, “There remains very much land to be possessed.”

Not only did Joshua have work left to do — but he had very much work left to do.

I believe we should all, no matter our age, take the Lord’s words to heart: Not only does there remain much land to be possessed, but we still have very much land to be possessed.

Where is our land that needs to be possessed that the Lord is reminding us of? It could be a child on the other side of the world that through our small monthly donation is able to be fed physically and spiritually. It could be someone in our neighborhood. It could be someone in our church. It could be in our workplace. It could be in our home.

The Lord is nudging us to remember that we all — no matter our age — still have land that needs to be possessed. Even if we feel old and stricken in years, there is much work to be done on that land that we have been given to possess. Very much work!       

You know what? I am thankful for that — God can still use each and every one of us!

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or                                                                                                   

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