How to Not “Lose Heart”


My husband and I have back problems, and it’s been a challenge to find a bed in which we can comfortably sleep. For several months, we’ve been playing “musical beds”–similar to the game of musical chairs.  Finally, I think we’ve come up with the solution that will enable both of us to sleep with relative comfort.

We also are renewing our commitment to walk and to do the exercises we must do to strengthen our bodies. Maintaining physical fitness not only benefits us but also honors God. Nevertheless, the reality is that our physical bodies are “wearing away” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

This could cause us to become discouraged–lose heart. But we need not do so, for at the same time “our inner person is being renewed”  . . . This is our focus: “we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4: 17-18).

Focusing on the unseen but lasting treasures of God’s kingdom rather than the temporary displeasures of aging motivates us to continue doing the work that God has called us to do. It’s making a difference in how we spend our retirement years, as reflected in the following poem.


When the beauty of youth has diminished
And the strength of my back is gone;
When my reaction time is slower
And my eyes can’t read the fine print;

When my children are standing above me
And they no longer need my help;
In the challenging years called “retirement”—
Is there something God’s calling me to?

There are words yet to be spoken
Of wisdom, of comfort, of hope;
There are songs yet to be written
Of encouragement, love, and praise;

There are prayers yet to be uttered,
For those lost, those tired, those weak;
There are promises yet to be kept
Unto him who strengthens my days.

When reading and learning take longer
And I can’t remember some names;
When my joints have lost some cushioning
And my diet is somewhat restricted;

When the world around me is different,
And I don’t understand all the words;
In the challenging years called “retirement”—
Is there something God’s calling me to?

There’s a world needing forgiveness—
Those dying who still haven’t heard;
There’s a world needing God’s mercy—
Those lonely, those weary, those hurt.

There’s a world bent toward destruction—
Those lost who need to come home;
There’s a God waiting in heaven
For a church to obey his command.

So whatever may be my calling,
I will pursue it with all of my heart.
With my eyes focused on Jesus,
I will finish that chosen work.


Questions for Reflection:

  • What has God gifted you for and called you to do?
  • In the stage of life that you are now in, how can you best accomplish that work?
  • In what ways are you renewing your spirit so that you do not become discouraged?

9 thoughts on “How to Not “Lose Heart”

  1. Love the poem!
    I feel as though I’m being called to do some new things that I am still ‘preparing’ for.
    Your poem is reassuring. Just the signal or answer to what I’ve been thinking.
    Thank you!

    • Thank you for letting me know, Joanne! I’m excited that God is preparing you for new things. May He give you clarity in what these things are and joy-strength in completing them.

  2. Just what I needed to hear as the aging process becomes more prevalent in my life. So enjoyed the poem! Praying for your renewed commitment to walk as I renew my commitment to stay active. God will do His part, I just need to do my part.

    • Oh, Peppy, so good to hear from you! I truly appreciate your support and prayers. Yes, God will do His part, as we do ours. “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. (2 Chronicles 16:9 NASB)

  3. Dear Jane,
    I love your poem! I too have back pain, &
    Aging limitations. As I winter in Los Angeles & await my daughter’s baby #5 I pray for a stronger back. And glory in His strength daily.
    Thankyou for your inspiring thoughts.

    • Thank you, Judith. How exciting to be in Los Angeles, now, awaiting the birth of another grandchild. May God give your back the strength that it needs to care for your daughter and keep up with and cuddle all of your grandchildren.

  4. Jane, I have been having many similar thoughts recently. My desire too is to give all I have and am to serve the Lord in my later years inspite of increasing physical limitations

    • I’m thrilled to know of your desire, Ruth. May God give you “eagle-strength” (as described in Isaiah 40:28-31) in the years ahead of you and much joy and fruitfulness in whatever he calls you to do.

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