“These golden years aren’t so golden,” my father-in-law had told me one day, while describing one of his daily frustrations. My mother had echoed the same sentiment in one of her conversations with me. Both of these dear people have left the frustrations of old age for the joys of Heaven.
I observed how painful the loss of independence was for them in their last years.
In A Twentieth Century Testimony, Malcolm Muggeridge reflected on his own old age and pilgrimage of faith: “It is often said that old age is a sort of second childhood… As a child one has the sort of relationship with everyone; they are all uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, belonging to one family, and so to be trusted, to be loved and to be confided in. Thus when people see this second childhood as an intimation of senescence, I don’t agree. I am more inclined to think of it as a conditioning process for eternity, as accustoming one to the circumstances that one is going to move into. Furthermore, it bears out those sayings of Jesus about how we have to be like a little child to understand His words and enter His Kingdom.”
Lord, You are the Everlasting Father. All those you have adopted by faith in Jesus will live forever as children in Your Kingdom. Certainly children are dependent on their father and family. Help us at every age to submit ourselves to Your authority and Your care. But in a special way give our elderly loved ones grace to receive help and to appreciate their growing dependency – indeed to welcome it – as a conditioning process to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.