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You Are Not Past Your Prime

ReDiscovered Word

(Joshua 14-15)

If you think you’re past your prime, you need to meet Caleb. Caleb knew what many do not, that your work isn’t finished until God says you’re done.

When he was young, Caleb had the guts to trust God. When he was old, he had the strength to put his faith into action.

There weren’t any gyms in the wilderness. Moses didn’t start the day leading Zumba classes for the people of Israel. But Caleb stayed strong, because God kept him strong. At the age of eighty-five, he could honestly say that he was as strong as he had been at age forty.

Only Caleb and Joshua were left from their generation of Israelites. The others were dead. Their terrible fear of death became a self-fulfilling prophecy, and one by one they dropped in the wilderness. None of them inherited the Promised Land, because they didn’t believe God could give it to them.

But forty-five years after he spied out the land, Caleb claimed his inheritance. He was just as strong and gutsy as the forty-year-old man he had once been, the man who was so idealistic about God’s power that he was willing to contradict the majority of his countrymen, insisting that God could defeat the giants of Canaan. And at age eighty-five, Caleb did just that, marching into Canaan and driving out the giants to take what God had promised.

Your work is not done until God says it’s done.

It’s easy to idealize youth, to believe that if you aren’t “successful” by age thirty — or certainly by forty — that it’s all over. You’re past your prime. Nothing left to do but sit on the porch and work a Sudoku puzzle. God can find somebody younger or stronger to do the important stuff.

But the Bible is filled with stories of men and women who had their greatest impact in their later years. Abraham. Moses. Caleb. John the Apostle.

They had the impact they did because they never stopped trusting in God’s faithfulness. In every case, they spent years waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled. They spent their lives engaged in the ordinary tasks of obeying God, loving others and asking for the strength to reflect God’s character. When their moments of greatness arrived, they were prepared because of the years they spent cultivating their character. Most of those years they spent in obscurity and in trial and in uncertainty, but they kept trusting Him anyway.

You may not change the world, or conquer a kingdom, or write a beautiful book, but God isn’t finished with you. Not when you’re thirty-five. Not when you’re forty-five. Not when you’re eighty-five. As long as you breathe, there is always another day to trust Him, another day to obey Him, even when the results aren’t dramatic.

So wake up tomorrow and ask for the strength to simply trust Him. Ask for one more day to represent Jesus with what you say and do. Tell Him you’ll obey Him in small ways and in big ways, until the day your body gives out. And on that day, you can look ahead — much like Caleb — and remember God’s promise of resurrection. You can remember that you’re not past your prime, that your prime is still ahead of you and will in fact last forever.

Your work is not done until God says it’s done. And His promises never go away until the day they’re fulfilled. Caleb knew the truth, and his life exhorts us to remember it also.

Tags: rediscovered word

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