Last week John and I were able to spend time with a couple who has been our friends for twenty-eight years. We live 1,200 miles apart now, so any time we have together is precious.
As we talked about our children and where they are in life, I was amazed again by how quickly time passes. When we met, we had toddlers and infants, and now our kids are grown with families and lives of their own. (Oh, yes, and we still have younger ones at home, too! A double challenge!)
Time passes quickly, and it makes me think about meeting up with my friends twenty-eight years from now. Where will my children be? I can’t even guess. Where will I be? Hopefully still in a close relationship with those I love. Hopefully enjoying new friends, too.
And hopefully stronger in faith and closer with Christ.
My friends and I are mostly the same as we were twenty-eight years ago, but we have walked both light and dark paths along the way. We’ve faced heartache, but we’ve seen God work, too. We’ve dealt with loss, but we can also rejoice that God has give us so much. And more is still to come – we care for our children now, but before we know it we’ll be the ones being cared for.
I realize this even more because I’m the caretaker for my grandmother who lives with us. I do her laundry and cook her food. I drive her to her appointments and dole out her medication. And I pray for her. Coming to a place where one is no longer able to care for herself is a vulnerable place to be!
To be dependent and know it is humbling. To be losing your mental capacities and know it is hard. To feel one’s body is weakening—and not being able to do anything about it—is a struggle. My grandmother tells me often that getting old is the hardest job in the world, and I believe her!
Yet even we our body fails, our mind weakens, and daily life takes work, there is Someone we can turn to and place our faith in.
In Psalm 71:9-10, King David prays this prayer to God, “Do not reject me when I am old or abandon me when I lose my strength.” Since King David had a close, personal relationship with God I have a feeling that this reminder was more for him than for God. It was a reminder that God would be there. That he would not be abandoned.
Before last week, I’d been looking forward to getting to see my friends. I wasn’t worried they might have a few more gray hairs or crows feet since I’d last seen them. I wasn’t worried that I did, either. I was looking forward just to connecting with their hearts!
I like to think of Jesus looking at us the same way.
He can see each of us growing older, but He’s most concerned about our hearts. All of us have bodies that will eventually fail, but we also have hearts that can—and will—grow stronger as we turn to Him.
I know this because I’ve seen the spiritual growth in my friends over the years. I know this because I’ve seen my grandma draw closer and closer to Christ through Bible study and prayer even as her body fails.
Faith is knowing that where we are weak, He is strong.
When we turn to Jesus, He will strengthen us from within. It’s also knowing that the friendships in Christ that we enjoy now will be taken to even a newer, deeper level when we enter eternity.
1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
That’s something we can all look forward to!