You are never too old (or too young) for God to use you! Evangelist Billy Graham noted that God’s plan for us is not limited by our age: “Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact. These men and women refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do.”
At this point of Joshua’s story, scholars estimate that he was roughly 90 years old. But even though he had more years behind him than in front of him, the Lord was not finished using him. Joshua had completed the first half of his mission, conquering the land. Now, the second portion of his task was to distribute the land as the Lord saw fit. The first verse signals the end of battles and triggers a new part of Joshua’s quest, the distribution of the land. God’s promises would be fulfilled. However, the conquests have taken their toll on Joshua, emotionally and physically. The author notes: Joshua has grown old (v. 1).
I am surprised Joshua did not respond: “God, I’ve done a good job. I’d like to start my retirement and take it easy. Can’t you find someone else to do the job?” Joshua had given his life to the cause. He had fought in more battles than he probably cared to remember. Perhaps his wounds had turned to wrinkles, and his dark hair had become gray. But when the Lord looked at Joshua, He did not see an old man, past his useful capacity. Instead, God saw a devoted leader with whom He was not finished yet.
>> A former pastor of mine said, “If you are still breathing, it means God is not done with you yet.” Your age doesn’t disqualify you from serving the Lord, only your lack of faith does. How can you serve the Lord in a new way today? Or maybe look for ways to create ministry opportunities for those older than you.
We can serve God and be useful at any age. In our reading, the Lord used Joshua even when he was old and wrinkled! Thank God that neither age nor social or economic status can disqualify us from service.