"Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone."
Getting old sucks! There I said it. Everyone thinks it so I am saying it! I can't think of one elderly person that hasn't thought that a time or two. I am reminded of this most recently because just a couple of days ago my grandfather passed away. He had a long and hard battle with leukemia and he finally let go and released his Spirit to Jesus.
He did not want to leave my grandmother behind. He loved her very much and she him. But see she also suffers from dementia so she can't process this whole situation as well as the rest of us. It is raw and fresh to her everyday and she will need extra help to cope with him being gone.
Out of my two sets of grandparents, three out of four of them are gone. I know this blog sounds pretty dismal but I do have good news. I have heard someone say to me "I wonder if God makes our later years so miserable so we are much more ready to go to our real home in heaven when the time comes." You see I never quite thought about it that way before. You could also say that the Lord makes the teenage years rough between a parent and a child so when there needs to be that separation around the age of 18, everyone is ready for them to move out!
If we stayed in our happy, little comfort zone all the time there would be no opportunity or will for change and growth and yes, that can still happen when you are elderly. Let me explain. In Psalm 71:18 it says, "Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come."
My grandma Castro on my dad's side, was an incredible woman of strength and wisdom. She was the wife of a preacher. When her husband, my grandpa Castro passed away seven years ago. It was hard. Her health began to decline and she ended up in an assisted living home. She called me one day when she was there and confided in me that she was lonely and depressed. She had a really hard time adjusting at first and prayed for God to just take her home. But she realized that was a lousy attitude to have and asked God to please help her through this season of life and prayed the same prayer David did in Psalm 71. She asked to be used by God even in her old age!
You see I believe with my whole heart that we all have a plan and a purpose until The Lord calls us home. If we are still breathing then we are still on assignment! God heard my grandmother's plea and answered her! She grew the home's bible study from 5 to 35! She was also able to minister to several other people in the home before she passed away. God used her until the very last minute and she told me she felt fulfilled ministering to the people there.
A lot of older people give up. They resign from life before they have even hit the coffin. That is no way to live. We are all called to do what we can with what weve got! I don't know how old you are reading this but I pray Psalm 71: 20-21 over you:
"Though you have made me see troubles many and bitter,
you will restore my life again; you will again bring me up,
you will increase my honor and comfort me once again."
If you were encouraged by this, please pass it on to someone else that might need this word this morning.
This beautiful song by Carrie Underwood is a good reminder for all of us..."Temporary Home".