When Joseph Scriven wrote the words of his now famous hymn, they were actually a poem he sent to comfort his mother who was very sick and missing him terribly back in Ireland. Several years previously, Scriven had lost the love of his life just week’s before they were to be married and in his time of grief he dedicated his life to God and there found great joy and peace. Hearing word of his mother’s ill health he sent these words of the hope he had found. Today they are still sung on job sites by brick layers and in corn fields by farmers. People lying in hospital rooms as well as standing in the largest cathedrals have been encouraged to know that no matter how important others think we are or how much money we have in the bank, there is nothing we could ever have that compare to the riches and power of a life lived as one of the friends of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Joseph Scriven 1855
Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God – Teresa of Avila
I am grateful to my friend Robert Keller for his guest post today. Recently as he was recovering from a medical incident he spent three weeks in a long term care setting. That experience put him in the same kind of situation I see every week as I visit in facilities around our community. It […]
I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Isaiah 46:4 NLT
As we were singing “How great Thou art!” at the nursing home last week; it occurred to me that some of my friends could no longer remember where they were or how they had come to live there. A few had forgotten their children’s names and one or two, even their own. But as we sang that familiar chorus; most had no trouble at all remembering the words as our voices lifted up in praise.
That experience made me remember that what matters most is not how smart we are, how much money we have in the bank or where we live; but in how much we trust in God. He has given a promise to carry us not only during the decades of our youth and strength but on through white hair and failing eyesight. His love for us is an eternal and unchanging commitment. Even if everyone else forgets, He will still take care of us. He has promised to carry us for a lifetime: and His promise is forever!
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:2-4 NKJV
As we face the prospect of entering a New Year filled with opportunities; challenges and unseen difficulties; I am tempted to sit down, draw up plans and set some personal goals. The weakness of plunging into this line of thinking is that it offers a temporary sense of peace while leaving the most important thing of all to side; which is prayer.
Prayer is like the patience and hope that the runner feels as he or she waits to hear the starting gun. In prayer we set our mind, not on the ticking of the clock but on the plans and purposes of our God, who has designed the course for us to run. He holds in His hands Heaven’ s stop-watch, which will mark off the seconds of our laps and record our finishing time at the finish line. He will be the judge of what matters because He is He is our Life! So let us commit to listen to His voice and wait eagerly for Him.
So what does that mean for us in Nursing Home Ministry? Why not begin by remembering that everything we do, say or give begins with Him? We are go to Nursing Home, not just to make us feel better about ourselves, but to carry the message of the Hope of Jesus Christ. He cares about the people who push their walkers or wheel through the halls and He is simply sending us to be their neighbors. We each have different abilities, personalities and weaknesses that God wants to use. He has better plans for how to reach people than we do. He has new and more creative ideas than we could ever come up with on our own. What we need to do is to wait for Him and listen for His starting gun. It is almost time for the race to begin. He promises is that we will run with out becoming weary if we wait for Him. He assures us that He will show us the path ahead if we will look up to see the heart of Jesus Christ.