The spring, summer, and fall seasons of my life are gone – now only existing in my memory. The winter season of the days You have planned for me has arrived.
Days of bright sunshine have become cloudy and are few in number, and they seem to be shorter than I remember from the past. The path I walk each day is often bumpy, and filled with unexpected twists and turns. Many days are overflowing with the pain, the heartaches, and the disappointments of this world.
My eyes are not as clear as they once were...my mind delights in playing tricks on me...and the flesh of my body often complains loudly. My strength and stamina are both disappearing at an alarming rate. The serious illnesses that invaded my life in recent years continue to camp patiently outside my doorstep - ready to show their ugly faces once again to wreak havoc in my body. Very little, physically or mentally, seems to function as it should – and as it once did.
This old man has mostly been abandoned by friends and family, and has been cast aside to struggle alone through the battles of life. Also, they have chosen to ignore the knowledge and wisdom that I could offer to them from my years of trials.
Please take my hand, Precious Lord, and hold on tight. I take great comfort in knowing that You will never let me go. Gently lead me through the storms that are yet before me, and help me to stand strong for Your honor and glory.
I love You with all my heart, my trust is in You, and I have done my best to serve You with all that is within me. Yes...there were times when I failed miserably, but as You led the way for me, Lord, I tried to follow in Your footsteps.
The prayers have been prayed...the songs have been sung...and the words have been spoken, but now in my winter season, I am confused. What are the future plans You have for me during this late time of my life? It is in Your Name that I pray and ask these things – Amen!
His answer to my plea:
Listen My child...
Do not let your heart be troubled.
Trust in God; trust also in Me.
In My Father's house are many rooms.
If it were not so, I would have told you.
I went there to prepare a place for you.
And if I am preparing a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you may be where I am.
The world is not your final home, for you are in the world only a little while. During your short stay there you will have trials and tribulations in life. There will be times of sorrow, sickness, sadness, disappointment, and pain. In spite of those things, you must occupy until I return to call your name. You must be My witness for the saving gospel message to all who will listen. Stay strong in the faith, lean on Me, trust in Me, and watch - for I am coming very soon.
My child, your heart truly knows that the path leading to My Father’s house is through Me - for I am the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life.
My tearful response to His answer:
Thank You, Jesus! Take my hand, Precious Lord, and lead me Home!
Don, you and Carol are such dear friends, and your writing such an inspiration. Though not quite there, yet, I do understand your heart. This is so eloquent and painfully honest, and then the response by the Lord so uplifting!! Truly you are gifted and you must see how the Lord is using you, even now!! Be blessed and stay faithful!
Don, this is a beautiful heartfelt expression of the winter season of our lives. I happen to be a little bit cold myself. ;-) I enjoyed writing a devotional about "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." As Christians, we know our lives have meaning for Him--even in the winter. I'm thankful for the bright witness of your life in every season, Friend.
This is a touching commentary that I'm sure many in the winter season of life might echo. I'm reminded of my dear dad, who once wrote at a distressing time in my own life: "That dirty devil, he can't stand to see Christians happy, so he tries to rob us of our joy. Well, just don't let him!"
That's the what, but where is the how? You've nailed it: keeping our eyes on Jesus we can "walk on waters" of stormy times and physical frailty, remembering that it is the joy of the Lord that is our strength. Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Thanks for writing from your own vulnerability, Don. It is hearts that reach hearts, and this does it!
What a sensitive yet powerful message,Don. I think it's one of the best you've ever written. Not only is your messag on target but the construction is so well done that I find myself envious.
Winter suggests the end, the cold, being left alone, the lack of fellowship, and a general barren-ness. Yet that's the time given by God for rest and reflection and yes, restoration. God did a wonderful thing in sending the beautiful, white pure snows in winter when He could just have easily made winter only dark, barren and cold. Who has not looked out the window and seen that during the night the first snowfall has blanketed the ground and the scene is so breath-takingly beautiful we can only think of the "whiter than snow" passages in the Bible.
Like you, I face the challenges of advancing age and like you, I don't want it to be wasted on me. God bless you for a wonderful, uplifting article, Don.
Donald, your words are a comfort to all of us who are entering the winter season of our lives. In fact, some of us are well into winter. I like your three part message: "My prayerful plea" - It reminds me of some of the prayers David prayed when he was in danger and felt like the Lord had left him. But he always came out of the cave and carried on with his life. He also cried out, as you have, for the Lord to hold his hand....And I like that you told us of "the Lord's answer to your prayer." He always does, when we listen...Then your conclusion of "My tearful response," is a great reassurance to us all. I ask God every day for strength. I need it. I have to be strong for the two who are depending on me--my husband and my sister. God helps me every day...You have a very important job too, Donald. You have to keep strong for those who depend on you...God gives us strength. He has promised, and I believe. Thanks for sharing this. It is an encouragement...Helen