God knows our need for rest and relaxation
Published 8:17 am Thursday, June 8, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: My husband and I are retiring and he plans to play golf and rest. I want to do something worthwhile. Is it wrong to spend retirement years enjoying all the things we couldn’t do when we were busy working and raising our children? – R.Y.
Dear R.Y.: God knows our need for rest and relaxation. The writer of Ecclesiastes said, “Enjoy the good of all his labor – it is the gift of God” (3:13). After a grueling period of ministry, Jesus urged His disciples to go with him to a quiet place and get some rest (see Mark 6:31).
But if our only goal during retirement years is to have a good time, we may well have fallen into the trap of empty, meaningless activity. God entrusts to us each day to use for His glory. This is true for working years, and is equally true for retirement years.
What, then, is the key to a successful retirement? Retirement isn’t something that just happens if we live long enough; it’s a gift from God. Understanding this helps us have a more fulfilling approach to this season of life.
As Christians, we should never retire from doing the work of the Lord. The Bible says, “That those who live should not live for themselves, but for Him who died for them” (2 Corinthians 5:15). God knows how each person is gifted. He knows each person’s needs and limitations and He brings opportunities to serve Him in various ways. If we don’t seek God’s will for how to spend retirement, we can drift aimlessly along, assuming our usefulness is over and running after every whim, to squeeze as much enjoyment out of remaining years of life. “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)