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Have a great rest of your life

Voices of Religion

Posted: Friday, April 04, 2008

Evelyn lives in Tennessee and listens to my radio program, "Higher Ground" over Sky Angel, a satellite carrier of programs called the Sacred Favorites group.

I've never met Evelyn but became acquainted with her recently through a letter she wrote expressing appreciation of my program for the help it provided during the recent loss of her husband of nearly 60 years.

Evelyn is a woman of faith. I can tell this by her statement: "God has helped me and your program has helped."

Then she adds this line that challenges me, and that I hope will do the same for each of my readers: "I am asking you to pray for me that I can find a new way to serve the Lord and be useful the rest of the time I have to live."

Here is a woman who, after experiencing what was probably the greatest loss of her life, refuses to allow the past to get her down. She's unwilling to waste the years that remain and is seeking to make the most of her future. Most significantly, she's determined to find a way to serve God and others for the rest of her life.

Early in life, Bill Bright developed a tract he called "The Four Spiritual Laws" as a means of introducing college students to his Lord. Key among these laws was simply the statement: "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life."

Is this true? Does God really care about the future of each of us?

Absolutely.

And there is no age limit that forbids getting in on this wonderful plan.

Retirement from the service of God is unknown and, as Evelyn has expressed so clearly, regardless of age, the future can be as active and fulfilling as the past.

One of the most familiar biblical characters acquainted with great accomplishments in old age is Caleb, one of the 12 spies sent out by Moses to scout the land of Canaan before the Israelites were to enter it after their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Caleb and Joshua, another scout, advised Moses to proceed but because of the doubts of the 10 other scouts, the conquest of Canaan was delayed for 40 years.

Caleb was then 85, but requested and received the position of leading the conquest of the most difficult part of Canaan to conquer.

Read the biblical text Numbers 14:8-9 and you can almost see the fire in his eyes as he feels the decades drop away. Age will not hold him back because he has a job to do and intends to do it.

How do we discover and get in on God's wonderful plan?

Evelyn has started seeking for it and is asking others to pray for her in her quest.

What's your strategy for discovering new ways to serve God?

You may want to start by asking the advice of your pastor.

An important part of my work has been preparing churches for the arrival of a new minister. Usually, I suggest members greet the new arrival by offering to serve in any way possible.

In volunteering to do anything that will build up your church and enhance the pastor's ministry, you may discover talents and abilities that have been unknown or unused and these may launch you on a new adventure of serving God and others, allowing you to feel useful and fulfilled for the rest of your life.

Roger Campbell is an author, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist from Waterford, Mich. He was a pastor for 22 years and been a guest speaker in Alaska churches from Anchorage to Homer.



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