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Today’s Truth

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Galatians 6:9-10

Friend to Friend

When I was in my thirties, I spent seven years serving my local church and the surrounding community as the Co-Director of Vacation Bible School (VBS). One of the tasks I was charged with was to fill the roughly 150 staff positions required to reach the 400+ children attending with the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

It was during this staffing pursuit that I witnessed a sharp contrast in the “heart-itude” (attitude of the heart) of some of the older parishioners who attended my church. On the one hand, there were two 90+ year-old ladies who I could count on year after year to serve on the kitchen staff—doling out snacks and washing dishes—whatever needed doing. But sadly, in comparison, there were a few mature women who, when I asked them to consider joining our VBS team, responded with, “Oh, honey, I served in VBS for many years when my kids were little. Now it’s time to let some of the younger people serve.”

Now, these women who were not interested in serving in VBS were not in their 90’s. In fact, they were both in their 60’s and retired from paid employment. Both had decades of vitality left to serve the church and the world, yet because they had already “done their duty,” they felt justified to “punch out,” move aside, and vacate their former roles so “that the younger ones could serve.” After all, they were retired.

My friend, as Christ-followers, we have no retirement date. While you and I may have filled many a role in our churches, on the mission field, or in our communities over the years, this does not mean that we can, at any time, “rest on our laurels.” There’s still work to be done!

I fully understand there are seasons in life when we have different capacities to serve. This is not the point I wish to discuss here today. I simply want to encourage those of you who have faithfully served in the past not to retire, but rather to keep up the good work! You don’t have to serve in the same capacity as you did previously, but you are still called to serve—straight on through your sunset years.

Certainly you may feel yourself slowing down some as you age, which makes it’s easy—and even tempting—to say, “Been there, done that,” to any request made of your time or talents (either by man or by the Holy Spirit). Not surprisingly, God knew you might be feeling that way, so in our passage today He reminds us that we are not to grow weary of going good. And as always, the Lord leads by example. In Isaiah 40:22 we are told that, “He does not grow tired or weary.” Moreover, in verse 29 it tells us, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

So let’s continue to serve…in His strength and power!

Let’s Pray

Lord Jesus, thank you for calling me to be your child and for equipping me to be “Jesus, with skin on” to those in this world. Let my ears be attentive, always, to where you call me to serve, and may you provide me with the strength and power I need to accomplish all that you’d have for me to do—for your Name and for your Glory!

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

What past Kingdom service / accomplishment have you been using as an earned right / excuse to bow out of something the Lord has been calling you to get involved in now? Remember, our “crowns” (laurel wreaths) of past Kingdom works were meant to be thrown at His feet, not worn on our heads. So, go on, toss that crown at His feet and ask Jesus, “What’s up next?”

More from the Girlfriends

Lisa Morrone, PT is a physical therapist, professor, author of six books, radio guest and event speaker who encourages people to “Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake.” Visit Lisa’s website for more information and to sign up to receive her informative “Monday Morning Health Tips”!

Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake (Harvest House Publishers) is one of Lisa’s six books in her Restoring Your Temple® health resource collection. Her books are available on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or wherever books are sold.

16 Responses to “Resting on Our Laurels”

  1. Deb says:

    Was talking /thinking about this very subject this week….a good reminder/wake up call….God can still use me in my current situation…no matter where, no matter what! I need to feel useful for Him & STAY useful for Him , not grow weary because He WILL give the strength to do whatever He asks of me! I fit right into that same scenario-age & retired! In a new situation both with my health & non-business of life! Time to reset & see what new direction He can use me…thank you for speaking His truth-if for no one else but me!!!💓

  2. Colleen says:

    Good morning! I loved this morning’s devotion. We have discussed this many times among our friends and just last week told our husbands that there is no retirement date when you serve the Lord. Thank you for your confirmation of this. I will continue to serve in whatever capacity I can (and there are many ways to do this) as I come off the Board in our church after serving for many years.
    Bless you, girlfriends, and keep showing up in my mailbox each morning!

    • Lisa Morrone Lisa Morrone says:

      Colleen–you go girl! Serve until Jesus calls you to His side!

      My 94 year old friend, Helen, is in a nursing home, confined to a wheelchair. Her hearing is failing and her sight is dim, yet the Lord uses her daily to be a comfort and an encouragement to those around her!

  3. Kathy M says:

    I am moving into a new chapter in my life and I have been seeking where the Lord wants me to serve. At this point being in transition I am not able to commit to a task however the Lord has been giving me lots of opportunities to fill in where I can. There is so much work to be done that many take for granted. In the small churches that I attend even taking out the trash is a big help. Thank you for your encouragement today.

    • Lisa Morrone Lisa Morrone says:

      Kathy, you are so right. Service for the King doesn’t need a title, nor does it need to garnish “public awareness”. He knows our heart, sees our faith in action–both in big and small efforts, and smiles ear to ear when our faith prompts us to do good works.

  4. C.M.Orris says:

    Pls. don’t vilify the retirement ladies, just yet. Some of us are just leaving a long term job and need time to “re-charge”ourselves and feel a new calling.
    Thanks for the devotionals. They are like a “AA” battery everyday!

    • Lisa Morrone Lisa Morrone says:

      Hey, I agree–we all need a time to rest, recharge and refocus to be effective in our service (Sabbaticals are a God-idea). This is especially true when changing churches or going through major life changes, such as you describe.

      Today I’ve written to encourage those who have been on the sidelines for years with no plan of re-entry. We are all needed on the playing field. This is HIS game, and we’ve each been drafted to fill a critical role.

  5. Seda Vash says:

    Very well said, Lisa! It truly spoke to my heart this morning as I start out this new week. Yesterday, as I took the Lord’s Supper at church, I apologized to God about the past week for being negative and complaining about my commute, traffic, and work. I still managed to ‘Do Good’ and to do the work He has anointed me with to the best of my abilities, but it was the attitude of my heart that required reflection and change.

    This grand new week, although I came into work with lots to do, projects needing attention, changes needing to take place, I will do my best to keep the attitude of my heart in check and will do His work with gladness and joy. It is difficult at times, but God isn’t going to bless us with anything greater if we can’t handle what is at hand. Therefore, I must manage His gifts well with a cheerful heart.

    Thank you for your message! Have a blessed day!

    Seda Vash

  6. PL Sidney says:

    When my children were young I worked in many areas reaching and teaching children. Now they’re all grown and have moved out. I’ve been asking the Lord what He wants me to do but so far He hasn’t answered. So now I work in ministries for which I have experience, interest or see a need. But I’m still working for the Lord. Just because the ladies stopped working with the children doesn’t mean they’ve stopped working for the Lord entirely. It’s possible that, like me, they’ve moved on to other ministries.

  7. Yolanda says:

    What are laurels???

    • Lisa Morrone Lisa Morrone says:

      Hi Yolanda, here is a quote from http://www.historyrevealed.com that will succinctly answer your question:

      “In Ancient Greece, victorious athletes were presented with laurel wreaths to wear. They were, and still are, signs of great accomplishment. To ‘rest on your laurels’ means that you get lazy or complacent about what you could achieve because you’re too busy basking in the memories of former glories.”

  8. kimmie says:

    My mom retired 5 or 6 years ago and does more for her church than EVER before!!!

  9. Ann says:

    And those older women were such a blessing to me, the director of the refreshment department! Being able to talk to them, glean some of their wisdom and stories and to be encouraged that no matter what age we are, God still uses us was such a lesson for me! And when one of those ladies, sweet Angela could no longer work in the kitchen, I knew she still wasn’t “retired” but instead was home “holding up our arms” with prayer (Exodus 17:12). What a great word this devotion is Lisa!

  10. Areum says:

    I have served in various ministries wthin my church. This fall, they were short of teachers and I was asked to co-teach the pre-k class. I’ll honestly admit I thought this job should be done by the young moms. But, there was a need and I agreed to do it, Another honest confession, I don’t know if I’m cut out to do this. But, God is faithful. He knows every thought and feeling I have. He also sees my heart of service. So I pray, every day. That God would lead and guide me and use me for His kingdom purpise. Thank you for reminding me that serving the Lird has no retirement daye!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8