“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
– Ecclesiastes 12:13
Life can certainly catch you by surprise! I think about when my kids were growing up at home, and I remember the good times and the very frustrating times. I never gave much thought about what it would be like when they were gone. Before we knew it, Landon graduated from high school in 2010 and left for college 1,200 miles away. Then in 2013, Lynsie graduated from high school, Landon graduated from college, he and Kristen got married and moved to Katy, Texas, and then Lynsie was off to college! That is when we became Empty Nesters “during the week”. Lynsie would come home on the weekends, so we did not experience the true meaning of being Empty Nesters until she left to attend college at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas in 2014. Lynsie eventually moved to a nearby town to start teaching.
One night, Susie and I were sitting in our recliners. At that time, we had been married for around 30 years, so we were at that stage where we could almost read each other’s minds. As we sat in our recliners, we looked at each other and at about the same time we said, “So what now? Is this what our life is?” So many times, I think about the kids and I would love to have them back in the house to watch them grow up again and get to take them to games and practices. I see young families with kids and wish I could have that time back. I remember what life and energy they brought into our home. When the grandkids come up and stay for the week during the summer, the energy they bring is explosive! It’s easy to want to go back to those days of having kids in the home because I’m familiar with it. I knew what to expect.
As I continue to face this new season of life, I do not know what the future holds, and sometimes that can be worrisome. I speak with a lot of people and most, but not all, are dealing with some type of health issues–a bad back, a knee replacement, cancer, MS, loneliness, dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, financial issues and job loss. When we focus on the unknown or problems that we are experiencing, we can let those issues paralyze us from doing anything else. Even though we experience change in our lives, there are two things that do not change: 1) Who are you, and 2) Why are you here?
Throughout the Book of Acts, we find that Paul experienced change and suffering, yet he continued on for Christ, living purposefully for the Lord. He experienced the loss of his best friend, was mocked, suffered a snake bite, and imprisoned. He experienced cold, hunger, thirst, beatings, stoning, imprisoned and many others. The Bible tells us in my favorite passage of the Bible, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
No matter what you are experiencing, these two questions remain the same: 1) Who are you; and 2) Why are you here? The answer is simple: God created us for His glory; our purpose is to glorify Him in this fallen world, and to make Him known to others. So whatever you are going through and whatever changes come your way, pray and ask God to give you ways that you can continue to point others to Christ to live a purposeful life.
Lord God, thank You for giving me life to begin with. Thank You for the good times and also for the difficult times that help me draw closer to You. Please forgive me where I fail You and I thank You for being the God of second chances. Help me, Lord, to continue to live that purpose filled life. In Jesus name Amen!
First Baptist Broken Arrow