I have always been impressed by the story of Caleb. A true story at that. Caleb and Joshua were the two spies who gave a positive report to the people of Israel about entering the Promised Land. Joshua 14 is a recounting of what Caleb now wanted 40 years later as Israel went into the land.
6 Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. 8 But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God. 9 And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. 12 So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”
13 Then Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14 Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 Now the name of Hebron formerly was Kiriath-arba. (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim.) And the land had rest from war (Joshua 14:6-15 [ESV]).
Caleb was 80 years old and as positive as ever. Probably not one person reading this blog post today is 80 years old (if so leave a comment). Caleb chose some of the most difficult region of Canaan to settle. He had to fight against some might people and well fortified cities to conquer his portion. He was as positive as ever and at 80 years old he was not ready to retire.
Do you have retirement plans? Are they collecting seashells along the beach? God may have something much more important and significant for you and it may include some of the biggest challenges you have ever faced. But it may be just what is needed to move God’s Kingdom forward. Caleb’s story is one of optimism and courage. Let that be your retirement legacy as well.