The school year is over. I am done with teaching…at least for the next two months. I am looking forward to the day of my retirement, when I will be finally and completely done with teaching. On that day, I will smash all the alarm clocks around the house, but I will be so old that I will probably be up at 5:00 in the morning anyways.
Retirement could be a wonderful thing, especially if you are still healthy and have some money saved up. A retired Christian can be used of God in many ways, but the problem is that our churches are filled with many retirees of every age, gender and nationality. They have retired from serving God.
What a contrast with Caleb, who at 85 years of age continued to fight and to conquer in the name of the Lord (Joshua 14:6-12). Christians can retire from their jobs or ministries, but we must never retire from being followers and servants of God.
But, what happens to those like me, that have served the Lord for many years (and still desire to serve Him), but now for whatever reason all ministry doors seem to be closed?
Is God done with us?
The Bible does talk about the possibility of being disqualified as a minister (1 Corinthians 9:27), but what will disqualify a servant of God?
Is it immorality? God gave David a second chance (2 Samuel 12:13)
Is it betrayal? God gave Peter a second chance (John 21)
Is it worldliness? God gave Samson a second chance (Judges 16)
Is it fear and cowardice? God gave John Mark a second chance (2 Timothy 4:11)
Personally, I am guilty of all the above charges and more. I have failed my Lord Jesus many times and I haven’t been faithful or obedient. Nevertheless, I love the Lord and still desire to serve Him. I know I don’t deserve to be in the ministry; I don’t even deserve to be a Christian.
I echo the words of the Prodigal Son:
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” (Luke 15:18, 19).
Is God done with me?
Philippians 1:6 is one of my favorite Bible verses, because it gives me hope when I entertain the idea that God has left me behind and that He will never use me again.
“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
I am holding onto this hope and to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).