In March I had the opportunity with my mission trip, The World Race, to spend time in the Dominican Republic. This was the ninth month of the race, and needless to say, I was exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually. Honestly, I was about ready to call it quits. However, God knew my time on the race was not over and sent me a special man named Reese to let me know as well.
Well, we woke up for our first Sunday at church four hours before the service actually started and were there three hours early. I felt myself growing in anger and frustration as I saw the team that was there living in luxury, surrounded by an amazing family. Never stopping to think about how blessed I was with what I had been given that month, I was sitting in envy. Then in walked a group of Americans, ages 45-90. YES, I said 90. They were from a church in Maryland, spending a week or so there providing sustainable water supplies to people in more rural areas who can’t afford fresh water. We started talking with them and a man named Keith pointed out the oldest man in their group to me. He told me his name was Reese, and he was 90 years old. He started doing mission work at age 70. Keith said Reese had an anointing on him of healing and that he was the most astounding man Keith had ever known. I had to meet him!
So time passed and Keith called me over to chat with Reese. I told him I had heard he was 90 and asked where he had been on all his missions. His response? In over 40 countries. His favorite place was India, and we talked about common places we had been and how India holds a special place in our hearts.
I asked him what he was doing at 70 when the Lord called him to leave home. He said, “Nothing … just sitting in my rocking chair.” He told me his family thinks he is crazy, but “once the Holy Spirit had a hold of me there was nothing I could do.” The service began so our conversation was cut short. After the service there was a line to receive prayer for healing from Reese. Person after person was walking away healed, and every time Reese would give a loud cheer, praising God for His grace!
I decided I would have him pray over my arm, which is a little bowed and unable to turn palm up. He prayed for me, leaned in and whispered, “The secret is to never buy a rocking chair,” and that was it. I walked away knowing God simply didn’t think it was time to heal my arm, but my spirit was stirred by what Reese said.
I made my way over to Oopsie the clown, who is really the pastor leading the mission group and who uses clowning as a means of children’s ministry wherever he goes. He asked me about Reese’s prayer and what he whispered afterwards. I told him about the secret of the rocking chair and asked if he knew what it meant.
Jack (otherwise known as Oopsie) told me that when Reese was 70 his wife passed away. He came home broken-hearted from losing his best friend and wife of so many years, sat on his front porch in his rocking chair, and told God he had nothing else to live for. God responded with something along the lines of, “Yes you do; cut up your rocking chair and go tell the world about Me.”
Of course Reese, being 70 at the time, responded with, “No, Lord, I am too old,” and still God said “GO!” So he got up, cut his chair into pieces, and went, never looking back!
Reese saved me that day. He saved me from going home, he saved me from looking at ministry as a waste of time, he saved me from giving up. He helped me realize that no matter how tired I am, no matter how annoyed I am with the situation I am in, I am still in God’s will and there is no better place to be! If I buy that rocking chair I am wasting valuable time, time to serve my God. I had my mind made up that morning that all the frustrations I was facing were not worth it, that I was not making a difference in the world, when in walked sweet, 90-year- old Reese, who will serve the Lord till his dying day.
If he can do it, I can. If he can do it, YOU can. We serve the same God. The same God who called Reese at age 70 calls us daily to take up our cross and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24 ESV) We are all working for the same mission. No, not everyone can get up and go around the world at 70 years old like Reese. However, the call to be a disciple of Christ is still the same. Do not let your age or your health keep you from being a disciple of God. Do not let your age or your health keep you from being a disciple of God. #AskGodToday Click To Tweet Make it a priority to tell every single person you encounter about Christ, even if it is something as simple as telling them Jesus loves them in passing. I know a lot of people, when they get into their older years, think that their work is done; they have retired and are ready to take it easy. I am here to say that yes, you may be retired from your job, but we never retire from the work of the Lord until He calls us home. This is the essence behind “Never buy a rocking chair.” I think I will take Reese’s words of wisdom with me always. Never buy a rocking chair.
The team at Ask God Today Ministries is gathering up donations for a Christmas mission. We want to go into the inner city and spend time with senior women. We want to bless them with gifts such as Poligrip®, Depend® undergarments, a devotional book, etc. and just spend some time with them, telling them about how amazing our God is. Please join us in this mission and make an item donation for these women. Mail items to P.O. Box 161625, Boiling Springs, SC 29316. For more details: Even When You are Old and Gray you Have Feelings, Needs and Need People.
You are never too young or too old to do the work of the Lord.
Please feel free to leave comments and tell us stories of a senior who has impacted you like Reese impacted me.
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