Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. Psalm 71:9
My husband and I do Bible Studies at assisted livings and elderly residences. Last night we were at one of the assisted livings, there were thirteen in attendance, a lower than usual turnout. An assisted living is an elderly apartment facility, where assistance is given with activities of daily living (ADL). The assistance can be anything from help with bathing, dressing, or medication management depending on the individual.
The residents that attend the Bible study range in age from late 70’s to 99 years old. Praise God, they still want to come out and hear His word. Most are mentally very sharp; unfortunately their bodies are getting worn out. They come walking on their own or with walkers, canes, motorized wheelchairs, and being pushed by others. They are hungering for the word of God.
The question posed was “what are you thankful for?” My husband asked them to think a minute and then answer. They did not need the minute; the answers were as diverse as the residents.
Here are the answers:
· My children
· Bible study
· My grandchildren
· For three meals a day
· My great grandchildren
· I’m thankful for everything
· Thankful that I’ve lived for 91 years
· For the prayers of friends
· Each other
· Roof over my head
· For living here because I’m not alone
· For being able to talk about the Bible and Jesus
· Thankful that my whole family will be together this year – we have not been together for many years because they live so far away
While they were speaking I looked around. Most were smiling as they were sharing their thoughts. Some were encouraging each other with a pat on the arm or a touch on the hand. This group had become a family. A family that was there for each other, a family that loved each other, a family that helped each other, a family that encouraged each other.
As I sat there and observed, I knew one of the things I’m thankful for is this group of ladies who have opened their hearts and lives to us and our God.
Post Script I wrote this a couple of years ago, but each time I read it I think of that night. Some still come monthly to hear His Word, some of the residents have moved to other facilities, and others have passed from this life and are with the Savior. Praise God for His love and the love He has given us for this older community.