As some of you may know I went to Maryland to care for my aging mother a couple of weeks ago. Each time that I leave to be with them it is difficult for me. Years ago I wasn’t able to sleep because the thought of my family and friends there not knowing our Savior was incredibly difficult to bear, in a word, overwhelming. Watching my father near death, having rejected Jesus for almost thirty years, and rejecting Him again as I tried to tell him one more time was the most difficult experience of my life. Perhaps because it has only been two years since his death, this trip was the worst in years. My mom’s heart has hardened toward Him since my dad’s death. And her health is rapidly deteriorating.
I hadn’t realized it but I was becoming a little depressed just thinking about going to visit those whom I love. I was saddened during my visit watching my mom’s worn out body and mind and not knowing how to care for her. I would like for her to come here, but our house wasn’t built with an elderly person in mind and is not safe for her. She fell on the stairs the last time that she was here. So the burden continues to be on my brother. And on my sister-in-law who is caring for elderly parents of her own.
One night I was reading Judges 8 before bed and my Father reminded me to remember. The words of Judges jumped off the page at me, “Thus the sons of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies…” I was thinking like Israel when they had forgotten all that God had done for them in Egypt when they turned away from Him and worshipped the idols of the people that surrounded them!
I immediately thanked God for pointing this out to me and began to confess my forgetting. I thanked Him, first for His grace in saving me from the plight of my family. Next, I expressed my thankfulness for God showing me His grace, love, and patience for more than thirty years. He has provided for me and my family in miraculous ways and through the love of the brethren in amazingly generous ways. He has given me wisdom in trials and words for unbelievers. I then thanked Him for His going with me to MD (Ma 28:20), the opportunity to once again speak of Jesus, and the ability to show my family an imperfect image of what He is like by serving them, praying for them, and loving them. Now my heart was about to burst with thankfulness and my eyes were back on Him rather than this seemingly hopeless situation. And, God began to encourage me by showing me His grace in many areas.
Then, I remembered having written my last blog post–ugh! God must want this remembering ingrained in my head. And for that too, I am thankful, since I am leaving soon with a one-way ticket to be with my mom. Though difficult at times, my faithful Father teaches me, patiently, lovingly, and with much grace. And when it’s all said and done, I will be with Him, and will someday be like His Son!