In the last few months, I’ve been realizing that my body is a lot less resilient than it used to be. For instance, I used to live alone and get ready for the day by myself, but over just over a year ago, I’ve had the benefit of my friend living with me and helping me get ready for the day.
The few times that I’ve been alone lately, I’ve noticed what a struggle it is. I’ve realized that like or not, old age is creeping up to me and there is no stopping it. So I’ve been wondering how to deal with these changes.
On Good Friday, I went to a Good Samaritan Ministries Luncheon. My ears perked up as Bettie, the founder shared a message entitled “The Ministry of suffering”. In a nut shell she encouraged us to step into the difficult times in our lives. When we step into the difficulties in our lives with the Lord, instead of running and trying to avoid them, we can receive His power and grace to walk through our battle.
Bettie just recently lost her husband after a long battle with Dementia. Since she was his main care provider, it wore her out.
As she continued to talk, I looked over at my friend and her mother who I had just chatted with during lunch. Her brother had recently passed away and the sorrow was all over her mother’s face. Sometimes people will say “just grin and bare it” or “time will heal everything”, but it’s far more effective when we realize that grief can only be totally healed by God when we go through the stages of grief.
There are several stages in the grief process, sometimes people might be angry about what’s happening to them or want to figure out how to get out of it by bargaining. I realized that what I’ve been doing is going through parts of the grief cycle. I haven’t looked at what the process of getting older will look like in my life, but like it or not I will. So I’ve moved on into acceptance and I’m learning what I can do to be as feisty and independent for as long as possible.
For the last few months a group of us from Joni and Friends have been studying a book called “Beyond Suffering”. One of the things that stuck me was a statement Joni made about her disability. When people see her sitting in her wheelchair, they assume her paraplegia is the cross God has asked her to carry, but she believes it is actually her attitude that is her cross to carry. I so identify with that. It’s our attitudes that we need to surrender to God.
Typical most of us avoid asking the difficult questions surrounding suffering. It may be we’re afraid to admit we feel our circumstances are unfair.
Each time I read about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, I’m reminded how God didn’t turn a way from Jesus while He was asking His Father to let this cup pass from Him.
At the end of His time of prayer Jesus agreed to carry out God’s plan. In this we see that it’s alright to ask the hard questions because Jesus did. When He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He spent the night agonizing over what God was asking Him to do. He didn’t want to be crucified but yet He prayed “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42), but when we embrace it we can discover that God remains faithful.