Agile to Fragile

imagesChildren skip into youth ~

 

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Youth leap
into adulthood  ~

 

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Adults run headlong into old age.

 

Some come to a screeching halt when the body is unable to keep up the normal pace.

Others gradually slow down as life becomes more difficult.

The younger generation catches up and overtakes us. We become inundated with a youth culture that is hard to understand and to which we can relate.

The ophthalmologist who examined Mother’s eyes twelve years ago, observed, “She is fragile, isn’t she.”
She was born the fifth daughter of twelve children. Before any brothers were born, her father took her hunting and taught her everything he would have taught a son. She started her first full time job and married at the age of fifteen. She was a small woman, but agile, strong, and faithful. There was nothing she could not do that she wanted to do or needed to do. She lived to the age of 92, after taking care of my dad, and enduring six years of dementia. And during those years she was fragile.

Now, I know the feeling of this fragility. Though I am in my second childhood, and loving it ~ loving what the Lord is doing in my life ~ there is a sense of losing strength and agility that I once had. Children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren have their own lives, and don’t seem to need us anymore..
This does not mean that we are discontent, or disheartened. More so, we are more content than ever, encouraged even in these difficult times, and more tenderhearted toward others. We are able to see the needs of others, and to pray for them.
Our greatest desire is that we have something lasting and eternal to share with the younger generation, believing that this is God’s plan for His people.unknown

Dear Father, thank you for the seasons of this life, for the agility we need as children, and for the fragility of the senior years. I praise you, that for the things we lost or left behind, you have replaced with your presence and power, the joy that is ours in Christ, our Lord, and the increase of faith and hope for the eternal life that you now share with us. Thank you for the strength and grace that we need for each day. I pray that you bring generations closer in faith and understanding of the true meaning of life and enable us to see the need for each other. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Music: My Grace is Sufficient
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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Time and Space

imagesNot everyone can relate to old age, but we all understand the limitations of this life. Now looking back from the other side of seventy-five I see things differently than before. This side is becoming brighter; God is becoming more real; and life is more than I ever thought it could be. What difference does time make? ~ None unless you know that God is in it.

Time is not what we make it. It all began with God, the Father, as creator. It all belongs to Him. Each lifespan is time that He gives individually for His purpose and plan. In a short time His work in me will be completed. He will move me up to His glory. Another will fill the space that I filled here on earth.  Now, He is still teaching me who He is and showing me what He is doing, in my own life and the lives of others.

The Spaces We Fill
Time is spent in the spaces we fill. If we are where God wants us to be we receive the blessings of His promises while we are here. Being basically sequestered now in the home with Jerry is proving to be the space and the blessing that the Lord planned for us in our marriage.  My years of time spent away from the home looking for fulfillment were years that the Lord could not bless as He might have. The world beacons us. Satan deceives us within our culture to keep us in the dark, from the knowledge and blessing of fellowship and communion with our God. We as wives are tempted and drawn to what we see out there; and miss what He has for us in the home as the help-mate for our husbands.

Years ago I could only see the madness and the sadness of this world. Now I am experiencing the Lord’s gladness in the middle of it all. Jerry and I are no longer able to travel long distances. We venture out to shop one or two days a week; but the highlight of our week is the Lord’s Day, for church and a day of public and private worship that is different from the other days. More and more this is becoming our prelude and practice for that eternal worship that the Lord has promised. During the week we are in His word and in prayer, interceding and in touch by email and phone to those in need of the Lord’s presence, power, mercy and grace. This time with Him is glorious as we wait for His call to “come up higher.”

(The following is an excerpt from A Month to Live ~ A Father’s Last Words)

“At 5:30, Daddy was looking at the large clock on the wall facing his bed. At 6:00 he looked again.

I asked him why he was looking at the clock.

He said, “To see how much time is left.”

He did not look at the clock again.

How can I forget those words? Never before has time meant to me what it does now. Daddy realized in the last days of his life how important time is. His prompting will be a legacy to me; and an ever-present part of my living. I believe, as Daddy learned, that God gives everyone the right amount of time for each life.   The person who waits until he is dying to learn how to live is wasting precious God-given life. Resisting the power of God’s Spirit to make us what He wants us to be is only a prelude to dying.

It is in the last stages that we would give up everything to go back and do it all differently.

Andrew Murray, in “Waiting on God,” writes, “The one object for which God gives life to man is that in them He might prove and show forth His wisdom, power, and goodness.” This little book came to me too late to share with Daddy. He would have benefited from it if he could have read it before having several strokes. (Maybe he did understand when he needed to. He tried reading it, but gave no indication that he could share what he had read.)”

0002tb “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.”  
Acts 17:24-26

The Best Part of Old Age

The best part of being old is that no one expects very much from us anymore.  So when others see something good in us they know that the Lord did it; and He receives the glory.

  “They shall still bring forth fruit  in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.”  Psam 92:14

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works; which he  beforehand ordained, that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10

“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”  Psalm 138:8

Old ~ But New-born

I’m old, and this body is worn.                    
My flesh and my heart have been torn.
Time takes its toll,
And makes me old;
But, praise God, in Christ I’m new-born.

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His Spirit transcends all the age,
He has written on every page~
“My Love divine
Has made you mine,
Afflictions and trials assuage.”

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This life will not fail in the test;           
Years prove to us the Father’s best.
Christ is the root;
Seasons of fruit~
His glory, His Life, joy, and rest.

 For Linda, Mary and me; and all the older ones in Christ.
Fran

Father of Grace and Glory (Part 2)

“Meditating on my bed” about the Father’s grace and glory since 4:00, by 6:00 several titles and articles had come to mind.  In the Draft file already are Musings vs. Amusements, Seeds of Grace, and Graceful Contentment.  Like a child my thoughts run to and fro from one subject to another, but this morning “our Father” has held me close, so that I may delight myself in Him, to know the desires of His heart.

Is this a last stage of His grace for me, or the flourishing of old age, promised in Psalm 92?  It really does not matter; each moment of each day is the working of His grace, for all ages and stages of this life. It is mostly in this latter part of life that I am coming to understand God as my Father, but more than this—that He has made me a part of His family; that He is “our Father.”  My only sibling is a brother who is eight years older, so my former years were as if I was an only child.  There is very little that I remember of his presence as I was growing up.  We were latch-key children (actually, living in Pepperell textile mill village, we did not even lock our doors), so, coming home to an empty house was never a pleasant thing.  This was one of the main reasons that I never wanted to work outside the home.  The few jobs that I had were either temporary, or, as in the building business, during school hours, and mostly building homes in our subdivision.

Enough of those memories—our heavenly Father is displacing those with better thoughts, better things, better promises. I can dwell on those that bring me down, or I can, with Him, walk in the light of His grace, looking up, thinking of those things that He is teaching me in His Word, and confirming by His Spirit of grace.  I could stay to myself, and get those dishes done (I am a keeper-at-home).  I can, like Mary, sit at Jesus’ feet (and I do). I have a biological family (whom I love more than they know).  I have a husband, (with whom I am preparing to be the bride of Christ.) But all of this is within a larger family, an eternal family of which I am a part. Our Father has desired us and sired us as His own to first, love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; from this relationship we love others, whether brothers and sisters in Christ, or those outside the faith.  (Matthew 22:37-40; I Thessalonians 3:12-13)  It is this relationship with the family in Christ, through which He sustains His people, bringing His kingdom to come here on earth.

It is our Lord Jesus Christ, “the first-born of many brethren” (Romans 8:29; Hebrews 2: 11) who reveals the Father to us.  It is the Father who reveals the Son to us.  The two are one, and have brought us together in one body with them—in Christ.  (John 17:21)  In our next post we will ponder how and what Jesus, the Son, reveals to us of the Father.

All things have been handed over to me by my Father,

and no one knows the Son except the Father

and no knows the Father except the Son

and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  

Matthew 11:27 ESV

In His Grace—for the Father’s glory and our joy.  ~  Fran