Though there were no institutions like nursing homes in the days of Jesus, there definitely were the same kinds of people who lived in them. That society had no social security, government health insurance or orphanages. The poor and helpless either were cared for by family or were thrown out to beg on the street. In the Bible we read a story of one woman we will call Rosemary, who teetered on the edge of destitution. Rosemary was a widow being supported by her only son. Then the worst happened. That son was struck down by some disease or accident. The morning as she followed his coffin on the way out of the city she wept not only for the loss of her child, but also because her future seemed dark and foreboding. Then Jesus came!
Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow…Luke 7:11-12 ESV
It is interesting that village of Nain was only about 12 miles from Nazareth; but this is the only time we know of that Jesus visits there. In the same way that Nain was close to Jesus’ home, nursing homes are close by every one of us. We drive by them every day without realizing that inside those walls are people who are just like Rosemary. While some receive regular visits from loved ones, most are simply forgotten.
Easter is now past and many of us are planning where we will go or what we will do on our summer vacations. Why couldn’t we also plan to make a shorter trip and begin to visit people like Rosemary who live near us and bring them the message that God has not forgotten?
If you or a loved one are going through a time of serious illness are shut-ins or nursing home residents this is book of hope is for you. God is unlimited in His power to minister hope and healing to those of us in need. Now in large print here are 31 daily readings based on the promises of God’s word. You can either find this for yourself on Amazon or you follow the link to 31 Days of Hope. (Also available in e-book format.)
31 Days of Hope – Large Print
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. Luke 1: 13 We often forget as we read Luke chapter one about the life of John the Baptist’s parents, that God was concerned for the needs of this elderly couple. Maybe in old age they had all but forgotten their prayer for children, but God had not. God had heard their prayer. God was still working on the answer. They didn’t have to follow some special formula. Zacharias and Elizabeth simply needed to remain faithful to what God had given them to do. In the same way we who have grown older without seeing the answer to things for which we have prayed can be encouraged that God also remembers us. Neither age nor weakness alters the power of God to answer prayer . It doesn’t matter how many years pass, if we are praying something in God’s will for our lives He hears us. He delights in answering the prayers of we who the community and sometimes sadly even the church consider past our time of usefulness. But the good news is that we are never out of warranty! Miracles can still happen because God never gives up, never forgets and never forsakes us. Don’t be afraid. He has heard your prayer!
Caligiuri, Peter (2018-03-07). Reflections of Hope (p. 3). Kindle Edition.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38 KJV
As I round the corner on over twenty three years of nursing home ministry I have now decades of precious memories of hundreds of people whom God has given me the privilege to serve. I have preached to them my best sermons, sung to them my best songs and shared with them my most intimate feelings and yet can say without hesitation that I have received far more than I have given.
I have learned that a loving heart far outlasts a sharp mind.
I have discovered that vision far is sharper than eyesight
I have entered into friendships that outlast personal failures
I have learned that God is faithful to remember us
That our names are written on the palms of His hands
His greatest gift is received when we have nothing to give
His grace patiently carries us all the way up Calvary’s hill.
When we meet in His city every tear will be wiped away
Every weakness made strong
Every sickness made whole
And every sorrow tuned into joy!!