James 5:1 (KJV) Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

God's Waiting Room, Part 2 of 3

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
Psalm 130:5-6

Fast Forward to 2004. It is now thirty years later.

I had now been happily married for 23 years. My son, Michael, was happily married and we now had three grandchildren. We had moved to the country in 1993 and my parents moved in with us. Daddy had moved on to heaven in 2002. Mother still lived with us. The past thirty years had flown by.

It had been a wonderful thirty years. During those years I worked at UOP for nearly 25 years. I traveled to the Holy Land, the Middle East, Europe, Mexico, went on a cruise to the Bahamas. I had played the piano for many churches, taught Sunday School, and have many lifetime Christian friends. Mother and I began speaking together at churches and eventually I went on alone. David and I taught financial seminars for twenty years at various colleges. We went on three vacations in all those years. That's how busy we've always been. And yet so close.

I remained a student of the Bible even during the busyness of life, and I had been in God's Waiting Room a couple of times. I will tell you about the most recent one.

I decided to early-retire in 2004. David had a secure position, our finances and future seemed secure (Wrong! but that's another story...), and Mother was at home alone while I was at work now, and she was partially disabled. I needed to be at home more.

I had everything planned, the things I would do when I retired. Or so I thought - until the Lord nipped that whole thing in the bud, slammed that door shut, and before I knew it I was back in the Waiting Room. By this time in my life I wasn't even disappointed because I knew what that meant. I just wondered if I would be too old to do anything by the time I 'got out.' Well, it wasn't my problem. The Lord is in charge.

Back into the Waiting Room I went.

Mother, who was 91, was restricted to a wheelchair 100% of the time when I retired in 2004. Those were days I wouldn't trade for anything. She was my best friend. We spend many hours talking about spiritual things, politics, family, everything. She was mentally as sharp as she had always been. Many friends and relatives came to visit during those years, and for the first time in my adult life I was at home. What a blessing those years were for both of us. The greatest gift the Lord has ever given me was my Christian heritage.

There were two of us in the Waiting Room now. Mother and me.

I was able to spend many hours in research and Bible study during those years. Soon it got to the point where I was afraid to leave her for even an hour. I knew this was hard on my husband, but he never complained. He was like a son to my parents. They were very close. A man like that doesn't grow on trees.

Finally, in 2006, Mother had what the doctor thought was a series of small strokes, and in her delirium was taken to Hospice House in Stockton. Everyone thought she was dying, but over an eight-week period she completely recovered. Due to her deteriorating debilitative arthritis, however, her physical condition had become such that she needed 24/7 nursing. When she came out of Hospice House we had to put her in Skilled Nursing in the same facility that she and my father had lived in for a while, which made the transition easier because she knew so many people there.

I had always wanted her to be at home as long as she lived, so this was very difficult for me. I made the trip to see her in Stockton two or three times each week for the next two years. We would have lunch together and visit for a couple of hours. We would always be deep in animated conversation, and I know that everyone wondered what in the world we always found to talk about. What a privilege it was to have my parents for so many years, to have access to such quality and wisdom. What a blessing.

Then one day she took to her bed and five days later she was in the Lord's presence. She and I both knew she was going, and we had a wonderful five days. I never mourned or cried. How could I? I knew where she was going and knew that I would see her again. It was a tender and beautiful experience. As the Lord had done so often before, His hand just lifted me up above the circumstances and sustained me above and beyond the natural human realm.

Yes, in 2002 God had other plans for me. He would provide His precious child - my saintly mother - with my constant care. She would have at her side the one person on earth who loved her almost as much as He did. He provides for His own. Yes he does.

I've been in God's Waiting Room for eight years this time.

How rich it has been. How much I have learned. It may be true that I spend so much time on heavenly things that I'm no earthly good. It may be that the next time the Lord calls me out it will be when He comes to reign and rule right here on earth. I think that will be very soon.

A Citizen of Heaven

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ..." Philippians 3:20

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