Rethink retirement. Discussions of retirement begin literally when we start working our first job. We consider putting away a portion from each check as we look forward to an easier time in which we rest in the fruit of our labors, travel and maybe chase a few dreams. We plan for these days, maybe paying down debt, maybe structuring investments and working hard at a job that has a retirement plan.
The real problem is that we don’t really know what path of life, our Lord, will take us. Each day our Lord reveals His plan for us, often with both joys and trials. Through financial challenges, health challenges and more, we still imagine a time when life will be simpler and peaceful. Such planning is wise in part, but not the aim of believers in Christ. We know that true rest from suffering and labors lies in heaven, with no more fear, no more tears and no more pain. A time in which we bask in the glory of God! And what an amazing time that will be.
So, for those that consider themselves “slaves of Jesus,” as Paul did in 1 Corinthians 4:1, then retirement is in heaven. With heaven in mind, then each day on earth is a day to rejoice in Christ, declaring the Gospel, praying and studying God’s Word—which never ceases in this life on earth.
Pastor Vladimir was blessed to have three faithful sisters in Christ in his church who lived every day for God’s glory. Although each on government pensions, their service of our Lord never ceased even when health failed.
“Three Christian sisters went away to be with the Lord during the last two months. All of them were active in the ministry and in spiritual life, as much as it was possible in their age. They were over 90. One of them recited poems by heart, as she had a phenomenal memory. The second lady swam in the swimming pool, walked much (in a Scandinavian way), always read the Bible, meditated on the texts and loved Jesus. The third elderly lady was grieved that only her grandson devoted his live to the Lord. But her grandson has become a prominent and meaningful minister of the church. This Christian sister was in constant fellowship with the Lord at her age of 92, loved Him with all her heart, and listened to two messages a day with the help of her PC, and prayed much.” For these ladies who have slowed a little with age, their zeal for our Lord only grew. As the Apostle Paul wrote, So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
And even when the health of one of these dear saints was failing, she praised God with her final breaths. “When she began to have breathing problems and she could not lie down as liquid filled her lungs, I received a phone call. My wife and I went to visit her, realizing that God was preparing her for her homegoing. As she could not walk or lie down, I had the honor to carry her to the car in my arms. I thought it was such an honor for me to carry this child of God in my arms. When we came to the hospital, they put her in the wheelchair. When doctors asked her about her state, she responded, “Praise God!” It was clear that she was gasping and praying. We miss her. We loved her dearly. The Word of God says in Psalm 111:6, For the righteous will never be moved; He will be remembered forever. Such people are adorable for the church. I call such people—a treasure of the congregation.”
For the saints of God, those whom place their faith in Jesus Christ, they know with sweet conviction that heaven is waiting and is assured through faith in Jesus. Therefore, retirement as such is in heaven, and even though the body is wasting away, the spirit is being renewed and filled with joy inexpressible day by day as the time of our departure grows near.