"I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus." (Revelation 1:9)
Attractive people. Youth. Fashion. Glam. Prosperity, partying, and big old vacations. The world system tries to subtly -- or with a sledgehammer -- convince us the young life is the best one. But agedness and aloneness have their uses.
Age and isolation became the apostle John's experience. He'd been banished as a prisoner to Patmos, the last living apostle, waiting for death to come. Rumors had spread in the church. John, they said, wouldn't die until Jesus came. And Jesus was taking his time. John's life stretched out razor-thin. Beaten and hated, this old man was alone and imprisoned.
As John looked to the sea, God gave him a vision of Jesus. The rumors were false. John wouldn't live until Christ's second coming, though he would see it in revelatory form. Like an Old Testament prophet, John received the great and final revelation of Scripture, the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
We should learn from John's example. Don't despise the latter years. Don't look down upon times life is alone, at a grinding halt. In conditions like those, God gave John a powerful vision. It became John's greatest work. It's not that John's previous writings weren't substantial. The gospel of John was a massive accomplishment, and 1, 2, and 3 John were an added blessing to the church. But Revelation, written in those last years of John's life, the capstone and summation of Scripture, was a landmark work.
And on that island, alone and desolate, God spoke to his man. In the Spirit, on the Lord's day, John saw the risen and glorified Christ. For him, and subsequent generations, Jesus became unveiled. Perhaps every other thing worth looking at had to be removed from John's life for him to see Jesus so clearly.
Again, let us not despise the times we are catastrophically alone. God might be up to his finest work, his strongest revelations, at that moment. And let us not fall into a love of youthfulness which believes the most influential years of fruitfulness are in our past. They don't have to be. If we love others, God can use our lives until kingdom come.