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By Ruth Wall – Tipp City, Ohio

Now in my 74th year of life, I’ve come to realize that I’m in the autumn of my life and am definitely a member of “the varsity club” (sixty plus years). To me, “varsity club” represents team members with some skillful experience that enables them to navigate life with more confidence than many younger teammates.

As such, I feel the responsibility to share what I’ve learned with fellow believers, so they become more skilled in handling life’s challenges. Varsity club Christians are often more familiar with the weaponry of God’s kingdom to guide them against the evil one.

We more seasoned members usually take time to reflect on our lives, the hilltops and the valleys, and more clearly see how God has blessed us with grace, protection and mercy along the way. Our God delights in mercy, and I’m so thankful for His blessings each day.

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance e? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy.” Micah 7:18 NIV

When I was a less mature Christian and not proficient in my spiritual abilities, I did the best with what I knew. As Joyce Meyer says, “God meets us where we are, but never leaves us where he found us!”

I remember going through one particularly challenging time during which I at least knew enough to “pray scripture” over my situation. My go-to promise was Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” Sometimes we don’t know what to do by our limited senses.

One day, near the end of my rope, I called out to God, “I can’t take it anymore!” The self-pity was about waist high when I heard a still, small voice, “Have ye yet resisted unto death?”

I immediately said, “No, but it’s pretty bad.” His divine whisper had penetrated my heart and drained my self-pity. It turned my head straight again, ready to get back in the fight.

But I still pondered where the words ”resisted unto death” came from, because that was not in my memory or vernacular. Sometime later, I came upon Hebrews 12:4, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood…”

“For consider [Jesus] that endured such contradiction of sinners againt himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:3-4 KJV

How amazed I was that God had previously fed this actual verse to me when I needed it! That simple experience helped build more trust (faith) in Him. He showed me how much He cares for me.

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:6-7 KJV

As my relationship with the Lord has blossomed, I am less surprised when and how He meets my needs and desires. I stand in awe of His tenderness, love and graciousness.

“For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set me face as a flint, and I know I shall not be ashamed.” Isaiah 50:7 KJV

I will not be talked out of God’s master plan.

He is faithful and good. He has fully equipped and empowered us. Scriptures like those in Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 127:2 ground us! They comfort us and help us to skip through life.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

“… God provides for those he loves even while they sleep.” Psalm 127:2 NIRV

The world often infers that when someone retires, their value and productivity are placed on a shelf.  It suggests that we are to passively graze through the rest of our lives. God’s Word refutes this.

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” Psalm 92:12-15 NIV

This retirement chapter of our lives may afford us more time to mentor, volunteer and share God’s love with kindness. Our lives may be the only Jesus some people ever see or accept.  Let’s live it boldly!

We each have unique, God-given talents, and we can utilize them at every opportunity. We can also stretch ourselves to do something new.

Talk to God about it. He and Jesus get the glory.

Someone recently said, “If you’re not having fun journeying with our Lord, you’re doing it wrong.” When life’s journey is done, did we do all we could do for Him in the time we had?

As a “varsity club member,” my personal battle cry in this spiritual war here on earth is Psalm 118:17, “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.”

I am blessed and thankful for this opportunity.

Ruth lives in Tipp City, Ohio, and hosts the CFFM guest house. She also works part-time as a registered nurse in a local hospital. Ruth is Pastor Tonia’s mom and is often warmly referred to as Mama Ruth or Grandma Ruth.