Mom, dad, my wife Judy, holding baby Georgia
How do you explain someone living to be 83 years old, having been diabetic for 47 years? Most people with that disease are fortunate to see 70 years. My mom turned 83 yesterday, and still takes care of herself, her home, and is actively serving others. Happen-stance, longevity in her family, remarkable strides in medicine, living a life smoke free, no drinking? These may all contribute, and are facts of living healthy. But I want to submit this truth to you as well:
"My child, never forget the things that I have taught you. Store up my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying." Prov. 3:1-2
"Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commands you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land your God is giving you." Deut.5:12 (This is the first of the 10 commandments that has a promise attached)
My mom accepted Christ into her heart at 9 years old, and has never looked back. She has never stopped loving God, and serving Him by serving others. She and dad are givers, not just money to their church, but to the needy, giving to spiritual and physical needs. Don't think for a moment her goodness made her this way. It is God's grace alone, and she knows it. To see the two of them, along with Audrey, a sainted woman, so dear to our family, go out and visit the elderly in retirement homes, sing to them, pray with them, and just talk to them, is the radical, furious love of God in action. Mom, dad, and Audrey are aware of this, and do this ministry quietly, without attention.
My mom, honored her parents. She stored up God and His Word in her life, and has been obedient to Him. God has given her long life. Raised poor, but unaware. Raising her children to know God, without question. Serving others, without thought. This is a life well lived and I hope not over for a while to come.
I don't want anyone to think that she is perfect. She gets put out by the lack of manners and kindness of this age. She will never understand weekend sports tournaments that interfere with church attendance. She will tell you what she thinks if you ask, but will refrain if she knows it won't help, or will hurt you. To our family, she is worthy of sainthood. Blessings to you mom, I love you very deeply.
I really believe that her life, dad's too, has been preserved by God from their obedience to Him, their honoring and doing whatever God directs them. I also don't have all of the answers why people like them die younger, and do. But just maybe the difference is action...not just a hearer of God's Word, but doers of His Word.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.