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Life begins at 65
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LIFE BEGINS AT 65
By Henry Jaegers
ďAlthough Moses was 120 years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated. (Deuteronomy 34:7)
I am still as strong today as I was in the days Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for going out and coming in. Now then give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken.Ē (Joshua 14: 11, 12)
From the examples of both Moses and Caleb we find that life does not end at 65. We do not have to prepare ourselves, as society dictates to us, to face a life that leads only to further aging and purposelessness. It is a great testimony to know that God is not finish with us when we turn 65. I can testify myself that actually, life began at 65. I am presently 76 years old and I have accomplished more in these last 11 years of supposed retirement than all of the years prior to turning 65. It is also a marvelous thing to have the word of God and the testimony of these two men Moses and Caleb but it is equally marvelous to experience the blessing of God in the life of a modern day man.
As I look back on my life as a child, and my journey toward the age of 65, I recall many signposts along the way that assured me of Godís protection and blessing in my life. Sometimes I look back with regret on the years that I spent living selfishly, unaware that God had something better by my being faithful. I remember my first year in Bible school when a young man got up and sang a song that pierced my heart. The manís name was Reinhold terms, student from Germany in the words that he sang where these,Ē by and by a, when I look on his face, Iíll wish I had given him moreĒ. That song still brings tears to my eyes when I contemplate who could have been had been faithful.
This morning my heart was encouraged as I read a passage from the book of Joel. The people had experienced a great draw it in the land by invasion of locusts. It was a time of great devastation for the nation of Israel. They had experienced the judgment of God for the disobedience. But the words of God after this experienced broad encouragement to my own soul. After the judgment was over God said to the nation of Israel,Ē then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and then gnawing locust, my great army which I sent among you you will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; then my people will never be put to shame.(Joel 2:25, 26) the encouraging word from Godís word is that God can restore those years eaten by the locusts. That talks about the times that were wasted in their lives. I firmly believe that God can make happen in older years was missing in our years of wandering and aimless searchingís. God promises to do that. In light of that promise we may be conscious of unworthiness to receive such blessing but again it is comforting to know that God is in control of that.
I remember my first experience of Godís presence in my life. I donít know if I was a Christian at the time but my mother place this sign in my bedroom that I have never forgotten. The sign saidĒblessed Savior dear, be always near, keep me from evil harm and fear.Ē I recall walking in the dark city streets on my way home from Boy Scouts praying that prayer every single night fearful of what might happen, but I am convinced God was there to protect me because he certainly did. Later on in my life while I was in the service, I attended a small Baptist Church that had this sign up in front that saidĒonly one life will soon be passed, only whatís done for Christ will last.Ē As I look back and I look forward it what God is doing this seems to be a great divide from the time I began to the present. I went to school, I pastored churches, I was involved in Christian ministry, but as I look back I wasted my life and selfish pursuits that did not bring glory to God or benefit anyone else. Perhaps in this book I may elaborate on some of these because we donít always realize what we are doing until later we find God doing more.
I think of people in the Bible like Daniel, Samuel, Jeremiah and others who started out young while serving the Lord. We might say they came out running and they were born for God. It seems like they never experienced any backslidingís as Scripture records them as being faithful from the beginning until the end. Iím sure that each of these experienced some temptations that we are not told about and being human perhaps maybe even some selfish pursuits. Perhaps God is gracious to the point where he allows us to experience the barren years in the emptiness and they are meant to propel us forward to a greater life of faithfulness. I believe that. And I hold to his promises where he tells us that he will restore the years that they canker worm has eaten, yet I still look back with regrets thinking that I could have given him more.
When I turned 62, the school district that I worked for decided on early retirement for me. That was not part of my plan so I found another job that kept me going until Allah 65. I was not involved in any Christian work. For about 20 years I felt that God was finished with my life that I had nothing to look forward to accept retirement in an empty black space afterwards. I was working part-time in a grocery store and I tried to help my supervisors by finding work for them, as their salaries were being cut. While searching a job opened up for me at the hospital where presently work and after that everything changed. People at work heard that I had been a minister and they expressed an interest in the study of revelation. I began writing out lessons of each chapter and handing them to several people and eventually when I finished I wrote my first book. It never occurred to me that I would ever be a writer. I loved preaching, but since my last church in 1985 the doors for preaching were closed. For now, they still are but I have accepted the fact of a greater ministry that God is giving to me. I write books and give them away. I charge no one for them and I expect nothing but hope that people will read the messages that these books contain. Little by little, people who know me start listening to my message and are taking an interest in my books. I have found that writing is something that I do well and helps me to communicate Christ to others. So for these last 11 years I have been involved in extensive writing ministry. I have published six books, three of them on biblical prophecy and Iím writing a fourth right now. I have several ideas for books that I have started and if I ever have time to complete them all there is about six more including the one I am writing right now on the back burner.
Sometimes I think that Iím going to have to live as long as Moses in order to complete all of the books I have started. I work full time at a job that is very physically demanding. Yet God has kept my mind sharp and my body is healthy and I am able to maintain the physical activity that my job requires at my present age.
I do not know what God has in mind for the future. I see a possibility of working in the church and improving some of the areas that are weak. I have confidence in my past experience however, I am finding I need to be patient and wait for God to open the doors he wants me to pass through. I cry out of our heart like CalebĒgive me this mountain. I would love to pastor a church once again, I donít care from 76 if Caleb can do it why canít I?Ē If God can do for the great heroes in the past what he did why canít he do them with me? I am ready, I am willing, I am available for God to use my life in any way he sees fit. Who says that life has to close at age 65? When God is in control there are no limitations on what he can do. The future looks bright, but I must confess sometimes I lacked patience. In doing a study of the church of Philadelphia God reminded me once again that it is he who closes and opens the doors. It is the unknowing that causes distress at times but again we have the promise of God in his word and I look forward to whatever lies ahead. Perhaps that may even provide a new chapter in this book.
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