In this past decade of my life, as I rounded the corner on middle-age and had every reason to expect to begin the gradual slow down into retirement, I have found myself presented with more opportunities for growth and service than ever before. While it has been energizing and invigorating for the most part, I have also had to face the fact that my physical resources are limited.
So far, each new opportunity God has placed before me has come with the gift of his power to carry me through. As the challenges have multiplied, so too my reliance on him. I have trusted that he will make a way through each new path he places before me. Nothing can compare with the joy that comes when God works through us to achieve more than we ever dreamed possible.
I had a birthday last week, so I’ve spent more time thinking of the unavoidable physical decline that will come in the years ahead. I’ve been wondering how I will discern that it is time to decline tasks that I may not be able to accomplish or to ration my resources for those things I still do well.
We are instructed to rely on God’s guidance and blessing in even the little things in our lives. We know that it is our weakness that best displays the Lord’s strength. On the other hand, we are not to tempt God. Just as Christ refused to throw himself down from the high tower so that God could save him and satisfy Satan’s taunt, we are to use our common sense.
Still, with God, all things truly are possible. So, if I decide that in my own strength something is beyond me, is opting not to attempt it denying myself the chance to do the “impossible” with God, or is it tempting God to take me through when I should know better?
Reading over what I’ve just written, I suddenly saw the answer to my dilemma: the limiting factor should not be my strength for the journey; the issue is where I am attempting to go.
It was not in God’s will for Christ to put on a show for Satan, so it would have been wrong to take the plunge.
I don’t need to wonder if I will know when I’m too old to be used by God. I only need to remain sensitive to his leading.
If God wants me to walk any path, he will make a way…even if he has to carry me every step. When he has no further use for me here, I will know, because he will take me home.