Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, LORD, are good.
I’ve been walking a tight rope for the better part of a year…………………. To be or not to be…. … Retired! What a quandary I’ve found myself in.
As a Trooper, 25 yrs is the goal! At 25 yrs. you can retire with a full pension. I had 25 years of service in early May 2012.
Boy, did I want to walk off into the sunset! Probably my coworkers wanted me to take a hike, too! It’s a young man’s job! And although I’m not old, depends on a person’s perspective (my kids think I’m an “old fart”), I’d passed my crime fighting prime.
Yet, in early May, I was made painfully aware that I would not be taking my leave. No, I had issues from my past keeping me bound to my post!
Although at present I’m still a working man, my future is brighter than my past! Why? Because I’m no longer walking in the darkness of my pride.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. ~ Psalm 119:105
It’s a long story and doesn’t need repeated here, but God has been working on this calloused heart of mine, for more years than I knew. While I repeatedly acted in rebellious ways as a younger man, He was molding me and sometimes totally revamping me. I didn’t recognize all his work on me, and most likely never will fully understand it all. Yet He did work on this unyielding lump of clay and still does, even now!
Oh, I am far from what I should be! Don’t get me wrong. However, the light is finally on in my attic!
God has blessed me even in the midst of His corrective measures. I had two wonderful boys, who have blessed my life in so many ways, and though my relationship with one of my sons is fractured currently, God has truly given me more than I deserve. A strong marriage, great children, both by blood and through marriage (all my children to me), and a career that has provided for all of us financially. God hasn’t made all the consequences of my failures disappear, however, He has somehow found favor in me and my family. That favor has shown in the provision we have found wrapped in His loving arms. He has guided us these past years and we have been blessed despite our recklessness at times. He does have a plan for us and it is to prosper, not with everything we may want but with what we need!
10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
English Standard Version (ESV)
Even as Israel had been rebellious so had I and just as God had been faithful to his promise to them, He had been faithful to me. Oh, neither of us deserved it, but that’s the incredible lesson I’ve learned about God, He not only loves us, but actually likes us and wants to be with us. So He molds us if we allow Him to. God is in the business of restoration He restored Israel to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon. He restored me spiritually through Christ bringing be to life, but not only that, he gave me a second chance to be a husband and a father, restoring me there as well. When you see His faithfulness you only want to go to Him more for that which you need!
With retirement looming in May of last year, He showed His great restorative power once more.
24 “The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 I will restore[a] to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,…….
26 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
English Standard Version (ESV)
If I had retired in May I would have retired knowing my past sins had eaten a percentage of my retirement and I never would have been able to get that back. Because of Pension issues wrapped up in how my pension’s divorce settlement was supposed to be distributed, I could not retire as planned. God had another idea. Because that happened I ended up working another 7 months and during that time I accumulated enough extra pay that the amount I would have to pay each year from my pension had been made up and then some. To me it was as if God said, You have been restored! Yes, you had to work longer, but I have provided for the years the locusts of your sin ate! My heart had seen God’s great redemption in every area that I had failed, spiritually, relational and financially!
When He restores you from the muck and the mire, you just need to sing His praises! If you don’t know that restoration, He wants to do the same for you too!
So I was to retire last Friday on January 4th, the second date I planned for. Well that had to be post-poned due to bureaucratic red tape, but I had my retirement party at work none-the-less. So, I’m still not retired…. yet, but my papers are signed and it will be a done deal on Jan 18th…… Even God can’t change a state retirement paper that has been signed! Still, I wonder why God delayed it 2 more weeks?
I don’t know the reason now, but I didn’t know the reason back in May either. God knows the plan He has for us, we need only trust in Him and His ways and allow His restoration to become who we are in Christ!
In the mean time, I’m looking for a new job….. Anyone got something out there for for an old ….. almost…….retired Cop!?!?!?