How many times have you heard this saying? “Grow old with me! The best is yet to be…”? Very romantic, isn’t it? Did you ever wonder where this often misquoted phrase comes from or perhaps you know. Do we really know what the poet meant?
Nineteenth century Victorian English poet Robert Browning wrote “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in His hand…” My heart swoons every time I hear this verse.
My husband and I often recite this to each other and then break out in laughter. Is right now the “best” that we had anticipated? How many times have we lost sight of the “best” on our journey because of inconveniences you wonder? Many times. We are, after all, only human. As we age life takes its toll on our bodies and sometimes throws some twists and turns in our story. Then the why me sets in. Why did my retirement get cut? Why is my husband so ill? And the list goes on.
Reflecting on what exactly is this “best is yet to be” I think it would be different for everyone. It is actually a perspective thing, too. For me, the best is in the little stuff. My husband and I have been together for so long we just know each other better than anyone else. It is the familiarity that comes with time, love, and going through things together. Children, moving, jobs, family deaths, grandchildren, illnesses, and retirement all have a tendency to knit a couple closer together or at least they did us.
The best is him bringing me strawberries because he knows I like them more than other berries. It is him knowing I like my coffee hot, not warm, and that Caramel Vanilla is my favorite. Being able to finish my sentences or hearing what I mean, instead of what I say is a big part of the best. Sharing inside jokes and communicating with just a look or touch. Mimicking accents on movies or television shows is silly, but he knows I love it so he plays along.
Having precious memories of a treasured life together and reminiscing while swinging on the deck is awesome. It doesn’t get much better than that. My table surrounded by my parents, children, and grandchildren is the best of the best. Sure I am getting old, have tackled obstacles, but the best is still coming each day.
The poet says “our times are in His hands” and I am so grateful for that. Actually the Lord’s hands on me is the only way to have a good life. My life would have been and would be so different without God holding me. I cannot imagine it, and I am glad there is no need. He has carried me through many trials and tribulations.
Maybe the “best is yet to be” refers to Heaven. When speaking of the best of any and everything, Heaven is just that. The best of the best. Personally I can think of nothing better than going to Heaven after my time on earth is done. Living everyday with Jesus and my saved loved ones will be the happiest of times. No more pain, heartache, or sorrow, doesn’t that sound like “the best” to you?