They are like trees planted in the house of the Lord, that flourish in the Temple of our God, that still bear fruit in old age and are always green and strong. — Psalm 92:13-14
This is written to my generation. We are typically known as “retired,” a designation our Western culture invented and has become enamored with (church included). I “retired” the first time at age 62. My idea was to see if God would allow me to do something else—and He did. Twelve years later at age 74, I “retired” again as a Senior Pastor of a wonderful growing church. During that time I also found out something I didn’t realize—that with God there’s no such thing as “retirement.”
In fact, I searched and I couldn’t find a single retirement story, as we define the term, in the whole Book we believe in. So what was I supposed to do next? Well Dorothy and I spent the next two years as Chaplains at a motor speedway (what fun) and two years later getting over 4000 audio Bibles into Nigeria (when someone said it couldn’t be done)! Presently, at age 86, I am writing my third book based on God’s wonderful promises. No kudos please! I just wanted to encourage you (if it be the case) to “get off your duff.” If you’re not dead, you’re not done!
The Apostle Paul told the Ephesian elders to, “finish the race and complete the task” (Acts 20:24). That’s what we’re supposed to do! So God, if you’ll ask Him, will open up a ministry you are able to participate in, whatever your age or physical condition. What a mighty God we serve!
My 82-year old friend Bob Shero, who has gone on to glory, didn’t believe in retirement either. He found himself in a wheel chair with limited mobility but rather than quit the race he became a prayer intercessor, par excellence. Before Bob passed away, I called to see how he was doing and before we ended our conversation he insisted that I join him in three urgent prayer requests among the three hundred for which he was currently praying. No earthly retirement in that guy!
Now unfortunately, some of our other older friends appear to have quit running. With all due respect, I must remind them and other “aging saints” that the race is not over until it’s over—and God has a way of letting us know when that is. He takes us home.
So my dear older friends over 50, I want you to know that there are literally hundreds of Christian organizations today that could use your wisdom, experience, talent and yes, your checkbook, as they bring glory and honor to God through local ministries and those that reach around the world. Your local church is a great place to start (and you can even do it online). God’s spiritual gifts don’t run out with your age and He will use what He has given you to help others—even if it’s just a phone call to an ailing person who needs encouragement.
So, if for some reason you’ve quit running—I urge you to get back in the race. It may be your last lap (only God knows for sure) but all that means is that the finish line is just up ahead and you’re about to receive the promised eternal prize (Philippians 3:14; 2 Timothy 4:8). Maranatha!
To help us walk closer with God and to know Him better