Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Will Take Care Of You"1 (Lyrics)
Leviticus 19:32 – Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. (NIV)
Some time ago here in southern Ontario, there was a television report about people in a nursing home being abused and/or mistreated by members of the staff. There were pictures of one elderly lady being tossed into her chair and of another with bruises on her face and arms. Family members were upset, and some staff members were accused of elder abuse.
My wife and I have been volunteers at the local Long Term Care Centre for many years now. My wife feeds a couple of residents once a week, takes some of them to recreational activities, and is involved in other activities. My involvement is limited to some pastoral visiting, holding a Bible class twice a month, and leading in worship a number of times each year. In our local facility, there are more than 50 volunteers who go there on a regular basis.
As a consequence, we know what goes on in our local facility. We have never seen anyone being mistreated in any way. Every time we go there, we see the staff looking after the residents in a compassionate way. We are aware that sometimes, the job is tedious and some of the residents can be demanding. I'm sure that there are times when the staff members get discouraged, but we see most of them doing their job with joy, care, and compassion. Skeptics could say, "Well, after all, that is their job; that's what they get paid for." But it does take a lot of dedication.
The volunteers spend hours doing all kinds of jobs and taking part in all kinds of activities: worship, Bible class, special services, a Sunday afternoon coffee shop for residents and their families, making music, or spending time with the residents. They do it mostly for the good of the residents, not for their own glory.
Romans 15:1 – We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (NKJV)
Proverbs 14:31 – He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. (NKJV)
Hebrews 13:16 – But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (NKJV)
I have come to know a number of the residents quite well through my church-related activities, and the residents really appreciate the efforts of the volunteers. I would encourage all who have the time and the ability to spend some time at your local long term care facility.
Matthew 25:40 – And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (NKJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for all those people who work and volunteer in the various long term care facilities. We ask that You would bless them and strengthen them. We also pray for the residents that You will comfort them in their declining years. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.