Scripture: Luke 1:5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years… 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.”
Observation: God has a way of doing things with people late in their lives. In this case, God blessed Zechariah and Elizabeth by giving them a son named John who would become John the Baptist, preparing the way for Jesus the Son of God. God did the same with Abraham, conceiving in him and Sarah their first child at age 100. But birth isn’t the only means through which God acts in the later seasons of peoples’ lives.
Moses is a great example of this. Just when it looked like Moses would finish out his days in the retirement community playing golf and using his AARP card to get the senior discount for dinner (not literally, just making a point), God called him to help free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Then Moses led the people for 40 years in the wilderness before they reached the Promised Land. Little did Moses know when he was newly retired that his life was FAR FROM OVER. In many ways, it had just begun.
Application: I only have a few more weeks before I turn 50 years old on July 1. If you follow my blog regularly, you already know this. And I suppose it’s common for people to reflect on life at such natural milestones. I feel blessed because I’m not still wondering what I’m going to do when I grow up. By no merit of my own, God called me into the ministry more than 20 years ago. And in serving various roles – local, regional, national – I’ve had a diverse experience over those years. I do not feel in any way I’ve somehow missed my life’s purpose. I’m living it.
Yet I know many people who are still waiting for their life purpose to reveal itself. It’s not they haven’t been busy doing good and/or important things. But there remains an “itch” of sorts, a longing or aspiration that remains unfulfilled. I wonder dear sister/brother, does this describe you in any way?
When we’re young, this sense of waiting for life to start is normal because most of our life is in front of us. The possibilities appear endless. But when we get older, it can seem that the window of opportunity begins to close. Our options grow more and more limited. If you’re middle age or older you know what I mean. When you’re on the back half of life, you can begin to think life has somehow passed you by.
Today’s passage reminds us that our God is never “done” with us. The world may want to consign you to the old folks home, but God may have a different plan for you entirely. Be ready!
Prayer: Heavenly Father as your children we commit our entire life to you – from beginning to end. Give us grace to respond when you call. Whenever you call. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.