by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5 ESV
My parents lived in the house where they raised my brother and me for almost 50 years. When we moved onto Dianne Street, I was eight and my brother was just five.
When my parents’ health severely declined, we moved them closer to my brother. But, during the last few years they have lived there, every time I make the four-hour drive to visit them, I am keenly aware of the passage of time and the toll this physical life takes on physical things.
For instance, once when I was there for a visit, I noticed the mailbox. I mean, I really took note of it. It’s the same mailbox they’d had for decades. The same one I mowed down with my mother’s Lincoln when I was a young driver. The post wedged under the car and Dad had a hard time getting it free. But even then, Dad didn’t replace the box; he just replaced the narrow iron post I had mangled with something a bit sturdier.
The day we moved my parents’ belongings, I studied that mailbox. It displayed the wounds of standing unprotected for decades at the end of the driveway in all kinds of weather. Although the numbers, 6413, still bravely cling to the side, rust dominated the exterior, and the lid didn’t quite close all the way.
Time has marked my parents as well. Joy and grief. Success and failure. Fullness and loss. Just like anyone who lives in this world for very long. Dad went to heaven late last year and Mom suffers with the last stages of Alzheimer’s. I miss my father; and though my mother is still here physically, we feel we lost her years ago.
Some days I wish I could change things. Or turn back the clock.
Yet God graciously reminds me that none of this takes Him by surprise. He well knows the effects this broken world has on His children. Sin has subjected this physical world and all that live on it to decay. We all groan inwardly while we eagerly wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises to His children (Romans 8:20-25).
We can replace rusty mailboxes with new ones, but they would soon rust again. The world would still get the last word.
But, praise God, the world does not get the last word in my parents’ lives. Or my life. The world does not have to have the last word in your life.
God gets the last word. The victory will be and is His, for everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. His victory is our victory. We are overcomers!
About the author: A former “cultural Christian,” Bible teacher and speaker Kathy Howard now lives an unshakable faith for life and encourages women to stand firm on our rock-solid God. The author of eight books, Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education. She and her retired husband live outside the Dallas/Ft Worth area with their miscellaneous assortment of dogs. Find free discipleship resources on her website, http://www.kathyhoward.org and connect with Kathy on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
In 30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents, author and fellow caregiver Kathy Howard offers encouragement and wisdom on giving your parents the kind of care that pleases God, providing the honor and respect that will allow them to maintain their dignity.
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