Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12 (NLT)
Tomorrow we leave for Tennessee to spend a few days celebrating my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday. Last year, several of my family gathered to celebrate Dad’s 85th birthday. Both of our parents have lost their spouses and are in care facilities yet each has adjusted to being alone and accepting the path God has chosen for them at this stage of life. I know my dad wonders, at times, why God has left him here after taking my mother so unexpectedly. But I remind him that his Heavenly Father still has things for him to do. Because his mind is sharp but his body is not, he is the first anyone in the family calls when prayer is needed. However, aging parents bring unexpected challenges and I know I was unprepared for the role that I must now play. But God does not give us an option. His command to honor our parents does not stop when they get old. In fact, that is probably the time of life when they need it most. Yet, God also gives us a promise—the only promise that is part of the Ten Commandments. My honor and respect influences my life both in quality and longevity. I am not sure how that works but I know better than to question God’s command. So we will honor Etna this week for her long life, her gift of three sons, and her example of loving one man, though widowed almost 39 years ago. Happy Birthday!