Tenses of Gratitude

Aging is a fertile field for past tense gratitude. I can reflect on my life and recognize God’s protective hand on my childhood years. How does a child even stay alive on a small farm where my small hands were the only ones available to do what would be a challenge to a skilled technician? Do memories of my teen years and early adulthood make God shudder as much as I do, in retrospect? What about the time I got our 1950 Ford up to 100 miles per hour and won the drag race with my high school competitor (who was a boy). Were the angels tired? What about the risks from nursing school where we slipped our names to the business men who came to “take us out on a date” because our nearly blind house mother wouldn’t let us go unless the men knew our names?

Then we can move from protective grace to provisional grace. How can it be that I was trusted to be the children’s pastor of a mega church? I stepped forward when the need presented because our Senior Pastor had taught me that availability was more important than ability. I spent the next decade watching God do what He has promised, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 24.

I remember every fall needing 600 Sunday School teachers. We started with a blank flip chart and every year we got the 600 names. Some of the parents thought I was amazing. I tried to tell them that it was God who is amazing, but not every one can process this mystery. It did give me the courage to push our volunteers past their comfort zone because, I knew from personal experience, that once you experience God doing through you what you could never do, you will never leave ministry or deny miracle.

This same God of the impossible has provided Senior Adult stories that I will tell in future blogs. But for today, can I, in faith, lean on the God who has been faithful and is faithful to be faithful?

What about the future tense of faith? How will I embrace the losses of aging? How do I demonstrate the “grace to be diminished” when the one who is being diminished is me?

Please God, may my gratitude attitude cover past, present and future tenses. May I, in faith, thank you now that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. May I lean hard on the promise that His power is made perfect in weakness, even when the weakness is due to aging.

How are you processing the losses of aging? Are you able to trust the God who has been faithful to be faithful? I’d love to hear your stories.

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