Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV
Since early on in nursing home ministry I have been gripped by the passion for two things- the overwhelming needs and the few that seem to notice. Society finds nursing homes convenient parking lots for the weakest members of our community. Our disabled, our elderly and our injured are professionally cared for but mostly forgotten except by Jesus Christ. Our calling as shepherds for this portion of God’s flock includes prayers for Him to send help.
Over the years of my time doing my best to meet needs and pray desperately for help I have discovered that God hears but answers in unexpected ways. I thought people from our church would come to serve communion but God sent willing staff members to cheerfully help. I felt that our prayer group would be moved to earnestly intercede for the needs, but God sent family members along with a few of the residents themselves to pray. If you are a fellow worker, a care giver or a concerned staff member remember that your prayers can reach far beyond your own abilities to help. Then after you have prayed ask God to give you eyes and ears to hear and see how He is answering! Have a blessed week in the love of Jesus!
This morning I read Luke chapter one about the life of John the Baptist’s parents. We often forget as we hurry through this passage 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 or begin something new. Zacharias and Elizabeth simply needed to remain faithful to what God had given them to do.
In the same way we who have grown old without seeing the answer to things we have prayed can be encouraged that God also remembers us. Neither age nor weakness alter 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 has heard us. He delights in answering the prayers of those the community and sadly even the church consider passed their time of usefulness. (Out of warranty as one friend of ours put it!) Miracles happen in our lives because God never gives up, never forgets and never forsakes us. Don’t be afraid. He has heard your prayer!
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
Time alone with God is the best investment we could make today!
31 Days of Hope – Day 12
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:6-7
Whether you are facing life from inside the four walls of a nursing home or the four walls of your apartment or house our need for God’s help doesn’t change. There are hours we all pass through when we have lost patience and through tears of frustration hope seems far away. But God’s presence and promise to take care of us as our shepherd and provide for our needs hasn’t changed.
At that very moment when we can feel the dark shadows closing in around our world God stands close and anxiously waits for us to leave our anxieties and needs at His feet. He will not stop caring for us when the cares of life press in. He will not abandon us when we feel alone. He hears our worried thoughts and listens to our prayers. He stands ready to come to our aid. He has not failed, forgotten us or written us off. Our great Savior guides us through every night and carries our hope in His hands.