As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I thought I would share with you two reflective passages from Psalms that remind us how great our God is. Let us give thanks to him.
I took a shirt from the hanger, held it up then threw it on a pile in the corner of the room. I went to the next shirt and did the same thing. I repeated this task until I finished inspecting all of the clothes hanging in the closet. As I did this, my mom stood behind me quietly watching as I decided the fate of her clothes.
My mom has Alzheimer’s and can no longer wear clothes with buttons or zippers. When my dad asked me to go through her clothes, I was not prepared for the emotions that would rush over me. Piece after piece, I was reminded of my beautiful mom – the woman who was always there for me when I needed her and showed me how to love the Lord.
Today, our roles have reversed – she is no longer the caregiver and I am no longer the child. Ecclesiastes says:
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
What season of life are you in today? Is it your time to grieve or celebrate? Every season in your life will prepare you for the next season. During those times, you will gain experience and wisdom so that God can use you to do his work.
My sister and I purchased tickets months ago to attend a Christian conference in our hometown. I marked the date on my calendar and explained to family and friends that I would not be available that day.
I anticipated the short departure from my busy life to focus on God and his Word. I was sure I was going to receive a great revelation during the conference that would change my life.
On the morning of the event, I packed my bible and a notebook and met my sister at a local restaurant for breakfast. We were happily discussing the day’s events when I received a phone call that call changed the course of my day. I had no choice but to abandon my eagerly awaited plans with my sister.
Has this ever happened to you? You plan and plan for an event and, at the last minute, it unravels right in front of you. This is what happened to me that day – only with a twist. While I was busy with my unexpected plans, I was again taken in a different direction by another phone call.
I opened the window in my dining room on a breezy summer morning and sat down with a cup of tea. The fresh air blew the hair away from my face while I watched birds in my backyard. Some were soaring through the air flying from tree to tree while others were taking seeds from the feeder.
The birds outside my window were Black-capped Chickadees. These songbirds have petite bodies with large heads and can be found in most backyards across America. They are very active birds, never staying in one spot for too long. As I watched them, I was reminded of Matthew 6:26.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
Exactly how does God feed these birds? I did some research and what I found is so amazing and really makes this scripture come to life.
The Black-capped Chickadees (I love saying Chickadees), unlike other birds, do not fly south for the winter. They live, fly, eat and build nests within a ten mile radius all year long. In order to survive the cold winter months, they start collecting seeds from berry bushes and trees in October and store them in various places within their ten mile home.
Can you imagine having to remember where you stored food in such a large area? How can these little birds remember all of those hiding places?
We left the restaurant and noticed an elderly woman hunched over, grasping a cane with both hands. She was barely able to place one foot in front of the other. My mom walked over to her and gently put her hand on her elbow. “Do you need some help,” she asked.
The woman looked at her and smiled. “No thank you,” she said. “My daughter is bringing the car and will help me”. They spoke for a few more seconds as I stood watching. You might think my mom did a nice thing by asking the woman if she needed help. But for me it was much more than that.
Three years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since then her mental health has declined. She can still dress herself and complete household chores, and even though she calls me by my sister’s name, she still knows I’m her daughter. There are things that she cannot do anymore. She forgets how to speak certain words, making it difficult to communicate.
When we encountered the woman outside the restaurant, my mom stood up straight, confidently walked over to the woman and spoke in full sentences. I was speechless as I watched her. In that moment, she was my mom again – the mom who was not sick, but young and healthy.