Yesterday we moved my grandmother from independent living into assisted living. This was a major change as she has lived there for 17 years. This was the last place that she lived together with her husband who went home to be with the Lord 7 years ago. And part of this change involved downsizing, giving things away to family and donating them. It is a trying time, especially for her and my dad, as they face and deal with some of the very real and present challenges of this fleeting life — even as we try not to miss out on the opportunities of the day.
There are “things” that we received from grandmother, but the greatest gift she has given us is the testimony of her godly walk with the Lord. But even she needs extra encouragement and prayer and support sometimes as well, and I got to pray for her and over her situation and circumstances yesterday in a new way, and it was truly a blessing.
Out of all of the “things” we brought back and are integrating into our household, it isn’t the bed, or the antiques, not even the Bible study resources that are most precious to me. The things most precious are a few extremely worn/loved Bibles and three Church hymnals.
One hymnal is from the 40’s, one from the 50’s, and another from the 70’s. And the list of songs has changed within each of them, just as many of the songs we will sing this Sunday morning are different than when I was a child. But there is something about those wonderful, heavy books that you can flip through and see song after song dedicated to praising and worshipping different aspects of this relationship with our God. Call me old fashioned, but it isn’t quite the same as a playlist on YouTube or Amazon Music.
Yes, I miss a lot of the old songs. Yes, I miss the heavy hymnals in each row. Yes, I miss many things. But my grandmother misses her husband. She misses the place where they lived together. She misses the bed where they slept together. But we both press on towards the call that the Lord has upon our life TODAY.
Lord, don’t let us get so caught up in memories that we miss out on the blessings for today. And don’t let us be so mindful and longing for heaven that we miss out on kingdom opportunities around us today. Keep us balanced, content, grateful, patient, kind — even in those times where we don’t fully understand where you’re taking us. Help us to move when you move, Lord, and to be still and know that you are God. Amen.
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT