Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "He Hideth My Soul"1 (Lyrics)
A friend once asked me, "Knowing what you know now after a lifetime of following Jesus, what words of wisdom would you have given to your younger self?" I have now had enough years of life and experience to help me answer that question. If I had to pick one piece of advice that I would have given to my younger self to help me to navigate my remaining years of life, it would be this: Trust God with the unknown future, and don't be afraid of it!
When I was younger, I tried to peer into the future, wondering what life would bring. Among other things, I worried about future finances and health. I'd say that even though our worst fears often don't materialize, careful planning is still wise. My husband and I prepared for our retirement years, and this careful planning was extremely important. Our sacrifices during our younger years have proven to be worthwhile.
Declining health is inevitable as we get older, but it is still possible to live a rich, full life at any stage. I'm responsible for being proactive in matters of health and wellbeing, and a positive outlook on life is invaluable. I can't guarantee that I will be able to be well and active to the very end, but wise lifestyle habits relating to diet, rest, and exercise will pay off. Worrying and fretting about potential health issues won't help.
I would repeatedly remind my younger self that even though it may be difficult and disagreeable, discipline and sacrifice in both physical and financial matters are well worth the outcome in later years. God knows my needs and will care for me.
Psalm 48:14 – For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die. (NLT)
God knows how many years that I have remaining here on earth. I can trust Him to shepherd me safely to the very end and take me through the deep waters of death. John Bunyan's old classic, Pilgrim's Progress, tells of Pilgrim crossing the river of death to reach the Celestial City. Pilgrim panics in fear as he loses his footing and as the cold water rushes over his head. But there is no turning back, and what joy awaits him as he reaches the other side! I, too, may dread the experience of death, but I am not afraid of dying. God promises us:
Isaiah 43:2 – When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. (NLT)
So, there you have some thoughts that I would have given to my younger self as I tried to peer into my future. God will take care of us. He will safeguard and provide for all of us who call Him "Father". Let's all trust Him with our future and our final days.
Prayer: O Lord, You have promised to be our Shepherd to the end. May we give our lives to You for safekeeping until the day that You call us home. Amen.