The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head. -Proverbs 20:29, KJV
I have always wanted gray (or even white) hair.
I know. I am fairly odd.
I have three friends who all went white-haired in their twenties. A few others were noticeably gray by 25.
As for yours truly, I have earned a few gray hairs over my few short years.
At least I am tall and lanky so that I have some semblance of strength. I am a bit of a gentle giant, and that garners some respect (mostly from my wife who can’t reach top shelves or move heavy boxes or bags easily.)
But why do I want gray hair?
I instinctively understood it as a child, but grew to understand it better as I grew.
It is not just that it can look dignified. Gray hairs tell others we have been through life. They tell others we have struggled through some of life’s problems and come out wiser.
Gray hairs are earned by learning life lessons the hard way.
I have been through my share of struggles and have earned some grays, but the Lord blessed me with thick, persistently dark hair.
It almost scares me to consider how much wisdom He yet wants me to learn (“fear the Lord”), but the few grays I do own have taught me to trust His lessons and timing.
And that is beautiful.
Getting old is a fact of life; it’s something all of us will experience (unless we die). On the other hand, some people get old before their time, which is truly sad.
Most people blessed with longer life will experience the graying of their hair. It doesn’t matter if it’s on one’s face or head, or even in the ears or nose, it’s going to turn gray. That’s why hair color manufactures will always stay in business. There’s big business in trying to look young.
But for those who live long lives that honor God, their gray hair (that’s what “hoary” means) can become a testimony of His faithfulness throughout the years.
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. – Proverbs 16:31
I am mostly bald, but I could let what hair I do have grow out. If it did, it would have a silvery sheen to it. All I’d need is a little lighting and I’d look like an old-fashioned aluminum Christmas tree, just without the top branches. On the other hand, my face has plenty of gray.
The older I get, the grayer I get. The more gray, the more stories I can tell. The fact that I’ve lived as long as I have is a miracle, and that’s why I don’t mind the gray – it tells a story for those who want to listen.
The only reason my story is one I’m happy to tell is because I’ve experienced the grace of God. If my gray hair was the result of a wasted, squandered life, I’d have nothing to say, and my “hoary head” would mean nothing.
But oh the wonderful stories that come from seasoned saints who’ve experience the continued faithfulness of our God! The gray hair then becomes a crown of honor, dignity, and glory.