Acknowledging the Lord as your source of strength will give you boldness like Caleb to see your transition to retirement as the next step in God’s plan for your life
“And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.” (Joshua 14:10b–11)
If you see your husband standing bare-chested and flexing his muscles in front of a mirror on his retirement day, just humor him. Though the military demands a high standard of physical fitness, the physique on display in the mirror is probably not the one with which he started his military career. Caleb, on the other hand, professed to being as strong at age eighty-five as he was at age forty. People did live longer in biblical times, but you might have to check with Mrs. Caleb, who saw him behind closed doors, to know if he was talking about pure physical strength.
Regardless of your perspective, I have heard it said that retirement is not for weaklings. Caleb approached this major life transition—from being a traveler in the wilderness to becoming a settler in the promised land of Canaan—from a position of strength. He could still fight like a warrior and carry out the daily duties of life.1
He could still fight like a warrior and carry out the daily duties of life
Good health gives you more options when transitioning to retirement, but strength of character will help you step into retirement on the right foot. Successful military service demands fortitude, yet the same strong determination to make a significant contribution with your life is a key to fulfillment after your ID card changes categories.
The strength between your ears and the courage inside your chest is more important in a major transition than the size of your biceps and the firmness of your abdominal muscles. Acknowledging the Lord as your source of strength will give you boldness like Caleb to see your transition to retirement as the next step in God’s plan for your life.
Why is it important to be a wise steward of physical health as you think about retirement? What are your goals for your physical health into retirement years?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, help me care for my body, so I may be strong enough to live out your purpose for my life, as long as I dwell on this earth. Amen.
1 Marten H. Woudstra, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: Joshua (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), 229.