Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Now The Day Is Over"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 25:16 – Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. (NIV)
In her room, she waits. Day after day, month after month, year after long year, she sits invisible to those outside. She listens and watches, hoping to see family and old friends who have seemingly forgotten about her. She awakens each morning, possibly remembering the day that she entered this room, and how she hadn't really wanted to come here. She thinks about getting up for breakfast, but not feeling hungry, she stays in bed, feeling hopeless and alone, even cursed and forgotten by God.
I don't personally know this woman, but I know that there are many like her. Her weariness, and feelings of isolation, abandonment, and loss of control, are all too real for many who are unwell and elderly.
The reality is that in our later years, our bodies grow weaker and more fragile, not only making our lives a challenge, but at times taking some to the brink of despair, crying to God, "Why me?" or even "Why won't You just let me die?"
I must admit that I have asked those same questions of God and was even angry with Him for not allowing me die. However, I know now that God was not yet finished with me. Although I don't yet know what plans God has in mind for my future, I am glad that I am still here, because, believe or not, no matter how desperate our lives may seem, there is hope through the grace of God, regardless of our age or circumstances. This is how Paul describes it:
2 Corinthians 4:16 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (NIV)
In fact, it is only in our weaknesses that we can discover God's grace and hope filled with an inner strength that surpasses all our weaknesses and suffering. This gift God gives us only through Jesus, who so undeservedly and yet so willingly sacrificed His life for us. In Jesus, we find the resurrection and renewal of our bodies, with the hope of eternal life. All our loneliness, sorrows, pain, and tears will vanish, to be replaced with everlasting joy, comfort, peace, and laughter.
We will then experience eternal glory with God, which will far outweigh our earthly struggles. That is our hope, for which we can be eternally grateful!
Prayer: Thank You, O Lord, for seeing us in our need and our weaknesses, and for giving us the opportunity to come to You as You wait for us with arms open wide. You see our sorrows and fears, You remember us, and You know and understand our grief and weariness. Grant us the faith not to lose heart, even in our most desperate moments. We are thankful for the hope that You give us in Jesus, Your Son, and for the joy that will be ours one day through Him, as we gratefully accept Your promise to renew us, to make us whole, and to restore us to Yourself. This we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.