She slowly and unsteadily walked into the store, a cane in her left hand. Her eyes were slightly red-rimmed, and I immediately sensed that perhaps she was not blessed with complete eyesight. She said she lived north of town and didn’t make it in very often. She was wanting some coffee, so I mentioned our new flavors, reading the names and descriptions. As I weighed and bagged her selection, I thought of her age and asked how long she had lived in her present location. “Eighty-four years” she said with a smile, “I live on the farm I grew up on.” She revealed that she only had peripheral vision in her right eye and could see only out of a small area of her left eye. “When the doctor told me I had to sell my car, I just hated it! It was one of the hardest things I had to deal with in my life.”
We were the only two in the store, so I felt free to ask; “I bet you’ve experienced a lot of life…” She began to share a story about her long ago deceased husband: “He was in such terrible pain… we went to the doctor and the diagnosis was ‘mental sickness’. Well, we knew that wasn’t true, but you know, since that was the diagnosis, all his medical bills were paid! We came back home with him still in such pain, and when we finally made it to another doctor, we found that his pancreas was quickly deteriorating… cancer. Within two weeks I was alone with two young children to raise. I tried to farm for two years with the help of my 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. I didn’t know it then, but those were my healing years…”
I began to share with her my fears of old age; “What will happen to me? Where will I live? What will I do? Who will take care of me?” She replied, “One day at a time, one day at a time.” And then, she uttered the most profound statement: “God will take care of you if you let Him.”
Isn’t that the key? God will take care of us if we let Him! How quickly and how soon we run off and try to do things ourselves, try to force issues, try to ‘do’ without asking and waiting on God. Impatient, floundering, filled with worry, confused and not at peace, when what we should be doing is merely waiting on God and resting in his arms. I have to keep reminding myself to wait, and listen for God’s direction. I know He will take care of me, if I will just let Him.
Her purchase total was $5.50, and as she handed me a ten-dollar bill asking if that was enough, she told me that now her son and his family live on the home farm with her. “They help me how they can and I help them how I can… I keep telling my grandchildren that you have to ask God into your heart… He won’t enter in unless you ask him.”
Such a quiet, accepting strength she has! What a solid, strong wisdom these old Christians have! I think we need to hear more from them of how God has been faithful all the years of their lives. It could be such an encouragement to those who have not yet faced trials or who have yet to face more trials… in other words, all of us.