Do you believe rising up for the Lord at a ripe old age is possible? Noah would give a high five and resounding yes. Abraham and Sarah’s story supplies evidence that great things can be accomplished when old age could steal one’s thunder. Mrs. Eloise Brewington can testify to the power of loving the Lord and living a long and prosperous life.
Living to be old, by our standards, can bring blessings and burdens. The Bible has much to say about long life. “For by me your days will grow in number, and years will be added to your life.” Proverbs 9:11. Let your heart keep my words. For they will add to you many days and years of life and peace.” Proverbs 3: 1-2 A respectful fear of the Lord is good for us at any age. “The fear of the Lord makes life longer, but the years of the sinful will be cut off.”
Are you knocking on the door of old age — senior citizen discounts, white hair, forgetting what you declared you would remember, what did you say sweetie, and Friday nights on the couch clad in pajamas being your favorite thing to do? Old age is not throwing in the towel and giving up the reins completely. It is a season when wisdom, work and wit can take us to places and things we never dreamed of doing or achieving. Job 12: 12-13 explains this well, “Wisdom is with old men, and understanding with long life. With God are wisdom and strength. Wise words and understanding belong to Him.” A long life is an honor to old men when their hair turns white. That truth is found in Proverbs 20:29. A few verses later we read that ‘hair turning white is like a crown of honor. It is found in the way of being right with God.” Being right with God is a good thing at any age.
Mrs. Eloise Brewington is a living example of these truths. Her long life is like a chest holding treasures and kisses from God. Her hair is a crown of honor celebrating 95 years of life here on earth. Her story has far too many chapters to share in this column. Her life has spanned 380 seasons, with changes that have brought sorrow and sunshine, foul and fair weather, teardrops and triumphs to this little lady who proudly proclaims her love for the Lord.
My admiration for Mrs. Eloise was deeply rooted in 2007 when cancer paid a second visit to our home within months. I felt overwhelmed but sought healing prayers from Mrs. Eloise and Prayer Connection. She prayed over me and told me I would go home the next day instead of having surgery. Feeling His Holy Spirit electrify my body, I knew I had felt the Master’s touch; yet, I was oh ye of little faith and felt the doctors would certainly go ahead with surgery as planned. Clint took me to UNC Hospitals the next morning and brought me home that afternoon. Doctors thought the cancer had spread and wanted to do more tests before proceeding. I did go home and prayed for a miracle. Two months later, God’s healing came after surgery. This marks my fifth year being cancer free. I promised God I would give Him my best if He healed me, that I would serve and love Him and help others grow closer and cherish the Lord and loved ones. My promise to my Lord is one I take seriously and share passionately. My role model for prayer is Mrs. Eloise. She goes in her prayer closet every morning, praying for people all over our communities. You are blessed if you have been the recipient of her powerful prayers. I know I am!
Last year, Mrs. Eloise rose up one morning in January ready to greet a new day. She fell in her bedroom and couldn’t get up. She tells the story of her anguish as she waited for help for hours and what God spoke to her heart through the ordeal. Growing weaker by the minute, she cried out to God, “Lord, I need you now.”
Those prophetic words have given a platform for Mrs. Eloise to do some powerful preaching and teaching to anyone who will listen. Visiting her home is a treat I anticipate like a child. We often sit on her front porch swing and spin yarns about our love for the Lord. Last spring, we spent the afternoon talking about the man who predicted the world would end. She shared how the time is NOW for people to rise up and get things right with themselves, their loved ones, and the Lord. She believes that cold morning on her bedroom floor was a time for her to rise up and a time she needed God right then. She tells how she kept calling on God, “I need you now, Lord.’ That day could have easily been her last one on earth, but God still has plans for this amazing woman. She tells the good news of a Lord who loves unconditionally and is ready for His children to rise up boldly instead of sitting back sheepishly. He needs for us to stand up for Jesus NOW!
Mrs. Eloise did rise up that morning when it was just her and God. She did not give up on getting up. She kept trying and believing in God and herself. He is her constant companion. Last week, people packed the family life center at Holly Grove Church to help celebrate her 95th birthday. The decorated room and aroma of a delicious home-cooked meal greeted guests who came because of their love for her and the Lord. What a wonderful party with all the trimmings of good singing, speaking, and sharing the sweet spirit of our Lord for a saintly lady who smiled from start to finish. I made my way to the head table where she sat with her children, all decked out with a sparkling sash and crown. Our embrace told a story of two Christian sisters who love and honor one another and our Savior — who saved us, healed us, and helped us see the beauty of serving Him. Mrs. Eloise met my good friend, James. He told her how beautiful she looked; she held his hands and said words that only God could have given, proof that she hears from the Father. Promising to pray for us and asking me to visit soon, we watched as she led her happy family to the banquet table. One day we will feast at the banquet table prepared by the Master. Are we praying and preparing for that great day?
We left Holly Grove with happy hearts and a deeper love for the lady who continues to pray and whose life is a witness for the Lord. She wore a lovely crown at her birthday party, but oh what crowns will be waiting for her when she enters heaven one glorious day. I can see her now, rising up and meeting the Master with a smile and a prayer. This petite princess will politely place her many crowns at the feet of Jesus. Her crown of incorruption will show she lived a disciplined life as shown in 1 Corinthians 9. Her crown of Righteousness will prove her love and obedience to God as found in 2 Timothy 4:8. Showing her work as a soul winner, she will wear a crown of Rejoicing. She joyfully expresses her faith as shown in 1Thessolonians 2. Finally, she will wear the crown of Glory shared in Revelation for those who believe the Bible and faithfully minister the Word. Her crowns will glorify God and make Him so proud of his good and faithful servant.
Have you felt the need for God to help you right NOW? Is your prayer life powerful or pitiful? Whatever age you are, the time is NOW to rise up, accept Christ, live your life boldly in love with the Lord, cherish loved ones, and make sure you are ready to meet the Master.
Happy Birthday, Mrs. Brewington. Thank you for your prayers and friendship. I love you so much; Jesus loves you more for sharing that NOW is the time to rise up and be bold in our witness for Him.