They say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” However, a dog trainer may advise replacing this old adage with, “It’s never too late to learn.” If you ever decide to adopt an adult or senior dog, you might be surprised at her ability to learn a few new things. Adult dogs are often easier to train than puppies since they have the ability to focus for a longer period of time.
Besides your canine friend, you will need two other constant companions for training an older pet: dog treats and patience. Add to this a good dose of quality and quantity. Don’t feed your dog low quality treats and give him a large quantity of patience as you work with him. Remember that older dogs may have physical limitations on tricks they can perform. In some cases, an elderly dog may have cognitive dysfunction (doggie dementia) that may make it impossible to learn new tricks.
Zacharias was an old man who needed to learn to exercise faith in what God could do for him. He and his wife Elizabeth had no children. They were godly believers who longed for the coming Messiah. As they studied the prophecies, they knew the time for the coming of the Anointed One was near. When Zacharias served as a priest before the altar of incense, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him he would have a son. The elderly man questioned how this could happen.
God is not limited. Age does not keep the Lord from performing His will for humanity. Many births in Scripture were surprising conceptions, such as that of Elkanah and Hannah or Abraham and Sarah. What limits the Lord’s work is a lack of faith. The father of John the Baptist needed to believe that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Even old people can grow in their faith. Zacharias finally did.
O God, forgive me for my unbelief. May nothing limit my faith in believing and acting on Your promises.
For Further Study: Luke 1:5–25, 57–80; Gen. 18:11, 12; Rom. 4:19–22