Pastor’s Pen: When it’s time to retire

There are many times I hear people talk of retirement. They plan for it. They save for it. They look forward to it. They can’t wait for it to come.

The word “retire” means “to withdraw.” For most of us, it means to withdraw from one’s position or occupation, but that’s not the only meaning. It may be withdrawing from the day and going to bed. It can be withdrawing from danger. It may even be used as a military term to withdraw or march away from an enemy.

There are times when we need to “retire,” as Christ did in Luke 5:16, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” We need to get away, all alone, and “often” spend time with God. Too many times we retire away from God rather than spending our retirement with God. Christ refreshed by retiring to bed to be sure, but His greatest refreshment came when He retired into prayer.

On the other hand, there are times not to retire. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” We are never to retire from serving the Lord. I think of Noah, who was 600 when the floods came upon the earth. Remember Abraham. He became the father of Isaac at age 100! And God had Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt when he was around 80 years old! Moses went from leading sheep to leading over a million people! I think Moses definitely needed to retire often into prayer.

Retirement from your occupation may soon be coming or already be here. But whether you’re in the middle of your career or near the end remember two things:

1) Retire into prayer and time with God often.

2) Stand firm! Never retire from following and serving our Lord Jesus Christ.