Continuing earthly work does not get easier with age and increased physical and mental challenges. It can become tempting to give up, sit in the rocking chair and dream of Heaven.
But we are not Heaven bound until we pass the tests here on earth. And the big test question is the same one Jesus asked Peter.
“Do you love Me?”
Peter had the opportunity to answer three times.
Each time he professed his love for Jesus, Jesus told him to do something.
“Feed My Lambs.”
“Take care of My Sheep.”
“Feed My Sheep.”
But that was not all Jesus said. He also gave this chilling response. He wanted Peter to know his time of service and obedience was going to last longer than the time Peter could call the shots.
“Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted;
but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Some of the greatest testimonies of God’s Grace and Mercy came to me through physically or mentally weakened earthly saints.
The creative ways in which they still found ways to serve inspired me. Seeing once strong, in charge, people graciously submit to the care of others touched my heart.
The ways in which they thanked other people for even simple acts of kindness often seemed God’s Way of saying “Thank You.”
And their stories and testimonies of God’s Provision through both the highs and lows of life encouraged me and gave me hope.
When I gave student nurses the assignment to ask their nursing home residents what their plans for the future were, a bedfast lady, who was 104 years old, said, “Lie here and let you learn on me until God calls me home.”
God’s Work is never finished nor should we resist whatever mission He chooses for us. I am still learning and not very good at submitting to any loss of independence.
But perhaps it is God’s Way of calling us back Home where we began as infants, dependent on His Mercy and Grace brought by other people.
This is what The Lord says. Hold His Words in your heart.
“Listen to me …
whom I have upheld since your birth,
and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am He, I am He Who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
May we be able to say with Jesus,
“I have brought You Glory on earth by finishing the work You gave Me to do.
And now, Father, glorify Me in Your Presence with The Glory I had with You before the world began!”