My grandaddy always said he wanted to wear-out instead of rust-out. And he did just that. He was in his 90’s when he had a stroke while teaching a Bible class and never really recovered, passing away weeks later.
I always wondered if “wearing out” was a biblical concept. After all, we’re supposed to take care of our bodies, right?
So on a random Tuesday morning, in my quiet time with the Lord, I went a-searching for that phrase.
It’s not in the Bible. Nope.
Nothing about retirement. Nothing about playing golf. Nothing about settling down. Or rocking in a rocking chair.
I couldn’t even find a single Bible verse about living comfortably in my old age.
No encouraging verses telling me to be comfortable during any season of my life.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Here’s what I did find in just three chapters of one book of the Bible.
I need to make every effort. . . Ephesians 4:3
I need to prepare. . . Ephesians 4:12
I need to do something useful. . . Ephesians 4:28
I need to get rid of. . . Ephesians 4:31
I need to wake up. . . Ephesians 5:14
I need to submit. . . Ephesians 5:21-22
I need to be strong. . . Ephesians 6;10
I need to put on. . . Ephesians 6:11
I need to stand firm. . . Ephesians 6:13
I need to be alert. . . Ephesians 6:18
At first I was overwhelmed with this list. But then, the Lord reminded me that if I focus on what and when He wants me to “do”, I won’t have a whole lot of time left to get into trouble. That’s a plus for me.
The enemy will have a harder time getting my attention because I’ll be all “putting on” and “standing firm” and “getting rid of”.
So now I know, even though the Bible doesn’t talk about retiring comfortably, it does talk about responding obediently. Not really “wearing out” but “working through” the good works God has prepared for me to do.
Lord, thank you for continuing to teach me. Thank you for showing me, in your Word, how to live an abundant life. I don’t know if I’ll make it to a retirement age, but I ask that you would give me a life full of things to do for you. Please give me the strength I’ll need to follow your leading and to be obedient. Help me to stand firm and be alert and submit and all of the other things you have prepared for me to do.