Never Retire

I work with a ministry that provides chapel services for seniors, aged 55 and older, who come to Arizona's White Mountains to escape the summer heat and who live in one of five recreational vehicle parks. Last week, I visited one of our five chapels, where the pastor preached on Moses' life.

Exodus 7:7 – Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh. (NIV)

Moses would have fit right in with our ministry!

Deuteronomy 34:7 – Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. (NIV)

He continued to serve, leading the often-cranky Israelites in the wilderness for forty long and weary years.

Over the years, our pastors' ages have ranged from the 60s to almost 90. One year, we had a retired missionary who started working with us at 88. Our director is in her 80s. She retired this year after 27 years in this ministry. They are all wonderful examples of people who "will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green." (Psalm 92:14 NIV)

After my husband died, I prayed for a ministry. I teach Bible studies and play the piano, but I wanted something more official. I applied to a state-wide Christian volunteer agency and attended their annual training. At the end of one of the sessions, the Ministry Director pulled me aside. "Sharon, I'm retiring, and I want you to take my place." God gave me a perfect match: I live in the community, I've been part of that ministry for ten years, and I'm known for my organizational skills. I trained with her this summer and am now the Director. God answers the desires of our heart when they are in line with His purpose.

I am now 75 — three-quarters of a century! How can I be that old? But here I am, one of God's senior saints, continuing in His service as long as He allows. I doubt that He'll extend my life to 120 years, but I hope that I will continue to "bear fruit" and "stay fresh and green" until the Lord calls me home.

The Bible has a great deal to say about old age, grey hair, and the wisdom that we have accumulated. There are countless examples of men and women who served Him as "senior saints" — Noah, Abraham, and Sarah in the Old Testament, and Elizabeth and Anna in the New Testament, just to name a few. I pray that each of us, as we age, will continue to find ways to serve the Lord. As our Director always said, "There's nothing in the Bible about retirement."

Prayer: Lord, we want to continue serving You with the talents that You have given us as long as we are able. Continue to give us strength and wisdom to do so. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Thanks for a good word today Sharon.


    Thanks for the encouraging word, Sharon.


    Thanks…perhaps not done yet after all!
    Blessings.


    AMEN to your devotional, Sharon…and keep on serving the Lord.
    (Texas)


    Good for you. I am a Canadian and am 80 years old. I keep telling my grandchildren,
    “I am not getting older, I am getting wiser.”
    God bless.


    Dear Sharon,
    I loved this; I loved every word… but, I’m just a young guy of 62!
    Very best wishes for many years of continued service.


    Well, from one 75 year old to another, we are Ageless in Jesus Christ and May we both be loving vibrant examples of living faithful joyful service to the One who matters most!
    God richly bless you as you serve Him!


    Sharon, Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us! I’m 75 years young, too, and have been wondering what the Lord has for me to do these days. I’ve been retired for a few years now, so your devotional really spoke to me. Thanks for writing. Blessings.


    Read your devotional twice today. There is a lot of humility in it, (which is the only attitude where learning takes place, I think). You inspire me to keep on expecting to be fitted by God today to serve Him and others. Thanks so much for your story on how God continues to do that for you.


    Thank you for you uplifting thoughts and reminders. Sometimes I feel I’m getting to old to teach Sunday school and youth groups etc but at 78 I’m still there plodding on. Hope I can continue to pass on the word to our younger generation.
    Blessings.


    Go for it, Sharon! We oldsters have the time and freedom to work for the Lord full-time. He builds on what went on before and equips us to do his will in exactly our own style. What a privilege – and what a joy!
    May he bless you in your ministry.


    Hi Sharon,
    Enjoyed today’s devotional, and the testimony you shared of God’s goodness, love, and faithfulness in how He has led you in life and ministry.
    It is also wonderful to know regardless of our ages if we are willing to be used, He is not done with us yet!


    Hello Sharon
    This was very encouraging, I turn 70 soon and sometimes the mind goes off to thoughts of old age. But God can use us as long as we are willing and He will be sure we are able.
    I really like Hebrews 12 v 12 and 13.
    God bless you.


    Dear Sharon,
    Thank you for sharing this devotion of “keeping on” in His service. I am encouraged to hear of those in the Bible who continued serving into old age, knowing that when we pray to God for a purpose using our skills, He will send us one, and knowing the joy of satisfaction of serving our Lord throughout our lives. I too am 75 and my mind is loving the service I can do at this time of my life.
    (CA, USA)


    My daughter is over 70 and I am 97. We still live in our own homes. We keep busy for family and others and help two disabled siblings in their 80’s and 90’s. There are young old, medium old and old old. I don’t feel old old yet. Surveys that lump all people over 65 into one category or not doing reliable research. Those who retire at 55 puzzle me. There can be two new careers after that. Retirement is not mentioned in either the Old or New Testaments. There are always unfinished tasks we were/are called to do by our heavenly Father.


    Hi Sharon,
    There are indeed many seniors doing the work of the Lord, I myself am in my 85th year. I would never have thought many years ago that I would be doing what I am doing and without the Lord’s help and guidance I would not be able to.
    Thank you for writing.


    Dear Sharon,
    How I identify with you and your devotional!
    I’m 88 and I pray that the good Lord will keep us, and all with the heart and divine inspiration for it, healthy and enthusiastic in serving our Lord for as long as He chooses.
    I’m healing now from a break suffered in a fall. I’m thankful that my left fingers function on the keys – though with some aches.