Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 12, 2021

God’s Plans for Your Retirement

A Normal Progression

Each of us devote a large block of our lives to gainful employment but for most of us, a time comes when we must retire. The question is how do we view and deal with the changes that retirement brings into our lives; there may be touches of mystery and even apprehension as we think about it. There is a massive amount of literature on the subject of retirement planning so I’ll not go there.

Instead, let us examine the subject from God’s perspective. The Bible assures us God has carefully planned every moment of our lives; in Psalms 139:16 it is written:

16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.”

It is not possible that our retirement caught God by surprise; there is, however, a clear message that God has always had our retirement laid out in great detail. In addition, you have a promise from God; in Romans 8:28-30 you are promised:

2And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”

Let us look at our retirement from God’s perspective; to God, there is absolutely no mystery involved in what he has planned for you! Please, let me share my story with you.

The End of One Career and the Beginning of Another, God’s Grace to a new Retiree.

As a young man, after a bit of trial and error, I finally settled for a job in residential construction where I worked for 36 years. I had planned on working until I was 75, but the winds of change prevailed and I retired when I was only 71 years old.

At the time of my retirement, I had no plans for the rest of my life; I would take it one day at a time and see what developed for me. I didn’t have too long to wait as a series of events began to change my life. One of the changes was a heart attack that required open-heart surgery and five by-passes. Happily, that was dealt with successfully and I was able to return to a reasonably normal level of activity.

Whereas I may have had no plans for my life; it appears the Lord, with his customary efficiency, had carefully laid out his plans for the rest of my life.

July 21, 2011 was the Beginning of a Journey that Continues to this Day!

I had developed an interest in genealogy the first part of the summer of 2011. I could go back a short distance but no more past that point. My paternal grandfather had done some research that carried our family line back to Dublin, Ireland but it stopped there.

During the course of my research, it occurred to me I had never had an in-depth conversation with either of my grandfathers, or even my father about the deeper issues of life. I was saddened by the thought I had no idea what they believed about so many issues of great significance.

Setting the Stage

Having retired from business in 2004, without any plans for life after retirement, I had sort of let circumstances control my activities until the time I was notified of a new program at Dallas Theological Seminary. In December of 2008, I got an email from DTS telling me of a new program which would permit students who had attended DTS, but had not graduated, to return and complete their work and graduate.

I responded to that email immediately and was later told my application for admission was the first one they received for the new program. Although it was past the normal deadline for admission to the next semester, my application was fast-tracked through the administrative process and I was able to enroll for the next term beginning in January of 2009.

My failure to complete my seminary studies, which I began in September of 1960, had troubled me for many years; the opportunity to complete my studies and graduate from DTS was a dream I had never expected to realize, but in June of 2009, it finally came true! I walked across the stage and was given my diploma, oh happy day!

I had finally completed my preparation to serve the Lord; next, the challenge of discovering where I should serve him! As often happens in life, when old doors are closed, new doors open wide. While I had no agenda for my retirement, now, in retrospect, I can see the Lord had it all planned out and would reveal his plans for my life on his own timetable.

Phase One

Back to the summer of 2011 while I was doing my genealogical research, I began to wonder what I could do to pass along my deeper spiritual thoughts to my family. While we often discussed the Bible and doctrinal topics at family gatherings; our time together always seemed too short to cover all that deserved time and discussion.

My beloved wife had suggested on a number of occasions that I should write a blog but I always responded in the negative, protesting that I was not a writer. On one occasion, in July of 2011, my wife brought the subject up again and, after giving her my customary response, went to my computer and started researching the subject of writing a blog. Within two hours I had published my first blog, “A Starting Point.”

It happened that her suggestion, and my desire to share my deeper spiritual thoughts with my family had joined forces so I took action. I know I have a teacher’s heart and delight in sharing Bible doctrine with those who hunger and thirst for the word of God; as a result, I have now discovered I enjoy writing about the Lord and the lessons he has taught me.

I recently checked the WordPress statistics and saw I have now published 494 essays on “Life from a Christian Perspective.” This one will make the total 495 and counting!

Phase Two

The next step in the Lord’s plans for my retirement did not materialize until six months later, January of 2012. One Sunday morning an announcement was made in church that caught my attention; Global Media Outreach was looking for volunteers to serve as online missionaries.

This would involve online work using one’s own computer and could be done at home. I was painfully aware of the toll age was taking on my endurance; things that had once been easy had now become difficult to manage. Working at home from my computer seemed like a very good fit for me as I had become something of a “computerphile.”

I volunteered, took the training, and started working as an active online missionary and have now done so on a daily basis since February of 2012. According to the statistics kept by GMO, I have now helped 9,447 people and have received 17,711 replies from disciples.

It has been a joy and a privilege to work with people all over the world. I have had the opportunity to get to know and work with brothers and sisters in Christ in locations I will never visit in person. GMO publishes a map showing the countries in which each online missionary has had an impact. The following shows the countries where God has permitted me to have an impact.

The good news of Jesus Christ is going all over the world; technology has opened doors to areas that have been out of reach for many years! Christians now have a wonderful opportunity to grow in their faith and learn to follow the commands of a loving God! This is truly an exciting time to be a Christian!

Remember, the Lord can use you in his service regardless of your age and abilities; when God opens the door, it is our responsibility to walk through! Your retirement can be the beginning of something wonderful, God’s plan for your life will be revealed to you one day at a time, as you live it!

Let Philippians 4:13 be your guide: “13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I praise God and thank him for his plans for my retirement!


Responses

  1. Brother, thank you for this very encouraging post. I had to retire early from a career I loved due to a personal family issue. I trusted God but cried every night. Two months later I faced life crisises that consumed me. After 2-3 years of healing and recouping my life, I continue to seek God’s fuller plan for my retirement. I am 63 and long to fulfill His will.
    My husband is turning 65, still employed but praying alongside me for God’s will.
    I truly appreciate your sharing. When it seems that life has twisted askew, surely the Lord still orders our steps on the path of His design. Thank you David, and congratulations on completing your degree. Thats wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lisa Beth, thank you for your comments, I really appreciate hearing from you. Life is filled with the unexpected and can take strange turns, from time to time. When that happens, and it will, our safe refuge is always the Lord and his loving watch-care over us. As his children, we have precious promises from God; I depend on Proverbs 3:5-6 where it is written:
      “5
      Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      do not depend on your own understanding.
      6
      Seek his will in all you do,
      and he will show you which path to take.”

      May our loving Lord watch over and bless you and your husband!
      In Christ’s love,
      David

      Liked by 3 people


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