This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.—John 15:12 (ESV)
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.—MATTHEW 11:28 [NIV]
I looked over the calendar for the month. Several doctor’s appointments were upcoming for my husband Mike’s frail 90-year-old mother. I poked my head into our home office. “Don’t forget your mom’s appointment with her internist on Thursday. And are you taking her to her cardiology appointment, too?” Mike grumbled an affirmative.
For 23 years, we’d been caring for aging parents. That was a huge chunk of time and a lot of responsibility. My mother and Mike’s dad were gone now. Mike was 70 and I was 69. Before long the calendar would likely fill with our own medical woes. Was there no end to this?
Sleep was elusive that night. Resentment grew. I took a sip of water in the dark, and suddenly a still, small voice reminded me, It’s an honor, not a burden, to care for aging parents. Not everyone gets that privilege. So true, I realized. My dad had died at 55. He didn’t live long enough to need help in later life, and he wasn’t around to care for his own widowed mother.
Caring for aging parents is tiring. Occasional breaks are needed. But in its own divine way, it is a privilege that not everyone gets to share.
Father, when we are feeling the burden of caregiving for our parents, remind us that it is an honor you have bestowed on us.
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