I wonder what I would be thinking about when I, if God’s willing, turn 90! Perhaps I’d be thinking about how grateful I am for the life God has given me and how I look forward to finishing it well. The last thing in my mind would be about starting another project. I’d simply be too tired for a new assignment. Perhaps that was what Jehoiada had in mind when he turned 90. But something happened that called for action, and he knew it was God who called him.
In the Book of II Chronicles 22-24 we can read the exploit of this old priest, whose wife, Jehosheba, happened to be the half-sister of King Ahaziah, whose mother was Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab of Israel. Upon finding out that her son had been killed by Jehu, Athaliah went berserk. She killed the whole royal family to ensure her grips on the throne. It was, then, that Jehoiada and his wife hid Joash, one of the king’s sons, for six years before he finally managed to launch a coup d’état and made Joash king of Judah.
We do not know the full extent of God’s plan. For some age 90 is the age when God says, “Rest,” but to some, it is the age when He says, “Rise.” What matters is we are ready—to rest or to rise. When God tells us to rest, we rest, but when He tells us to rise, we rise. But there is something else we must keep in mind, and that is what we must do while we are still alive. Robert Browning, the 19th century English poet, poignantly reminded us, “A man’s value is not measured by the years he has lived, or even the work he has done. A man’s value is measured by the character he has molded.”
We begin by molding our character and we end by molding the character of those God has entrusted us with. That is where our value lies; not in the years we’ve lived or the work we’ve done.