“HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER, SO THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG IN THE LAND THE LORD YOUR GOD IS GIVING YOU.” Exodus 20:12. The Fifth Commandment is the first one with a promise attached to it.
As I wrote in yesterday’s post, when we know God, we are secure in our relationship with Him. We know He has everything under control. We know He loves and cares for us, we know we are His children, we know He showers us with loving kindness and tender mercies. We know He has redeemed us from the pit and that we will be with Him through eternity. He gives us peace and joy and comfort. He supplies our every need. He shelters us, protects us and hides us under His wing. There is no greater relationship we could have or ask for in life.
This is my mother, Jean, who is my dearest Christian sister, friend and mother turned daughter. Although physically fit and well, she has been suffering from worsening dementia for a number of years. I had been caring for her, and then in December God led for her to move from the lovely, but tiny and quirky apartment we were living together in on Rocky Neck to an assisted care facility in the town she had lived in most of her life, and where my siblings and I had grown up. Over the winter, she was secure, well cared for and close to friends and her 50+ year church family, who jumped right in to take her to choir practice so she could continue to sing in the choir on Sundays (she so loves to sing), and I was free to do the work God was calling me to do over the winter—painting the Revelation Series paintings and writing four devotional books.
Over the past couple of months, it became increasingly obvious that Mom was not doing well—her care was sliding at the facility—she was overweight, under-exercised, her blood pressure was skyrocketing, she was depressed and unhappy. This past Wednesday I went to visit her and was confronted with a “straw that broke the camels back” issue concerning her care. I knew I had to get her out of there, but I also knew I couldn’t bring her back to my tiny apartment. In an amazing, mind-blowing display of His power and intimate loving kindness and tender mercies, the next day God led me to the house I was to rent—a gracious old but meticulously maintained 4 bedroom, 2 bath Victorian overlooking the harbor, which mom so dearly loves, at a monthly cost less than half of what the facility was costing, with space for family to come visit her, stay and enjoy the beauty of Gloucester, while Mom still remembers who we are. Three days after I knew she had to move, the lease was signed and she will move out of the facility and into her new home on September 1. Last week we had gone to see her doctor and he had asked what she was up to. She said: “Nothing, but when I have been very good, my daughter takes me up to Gloucester where I can sit and look at the ocean.” Now she will be able to look at the ocean to her heart’s content.
God is so awesome in His love and caring for us, down to the most minute and precious detail, if we just put our complete faith in Him to take care of us. He knows so much better than we do what will bring the greatest joy to our hearts, and He so loves being able to give good gifts to us. We just have to have faith in Him and follow His lead.
Preparing for this transition is going require most of my time and energy, so posts may be a little sparse for the next couple of weeks.