I recently spent a few days with my folks in Seattle. They live in community that has been designed for senior citizens. As my mom said, “My neighbors are so old they either leave by a hearse or are taken away to live with their children.”
While I was there, I had the opportunity to meet quite a few of her neighbors. They’d stop in to meet “Bert’s daughter” and then we would chat for a bit. While chatting, I’d ask to hear their stories. Now they all had interesting stories about their children and grandchildren, where they worked when they were young, and places they had traveled. After they had shared these things, they would then begin to tell me stories from their childhood…. and these stories were not always pleasant. Many of them have stories of neglect. Others tell stories of abandonment. And still more had stories of child abuse and growing up with alcoholic parents.
Even in their seventies, they hadn’t got over the pain they had experienced in their childhoods.
Which is why I’m saying that sometimes we can’t just get over it….. sometimes we need help to work our way out of our pain. Often it’s as simple as having a friend who listen as we talk our through it. But for many of us, we may need more than the ear of a friend. We may need to be guided through the forgiveness process with the help of a pastor or counselor. We may need homework assignments such as keeping a gratitude journal or writing a forgiveness letter. We may need to be told that it wasn’t our fault and that we didn’t deserve what happened to us.
I’m suggesting that those of us who are younger than our mid-seventies begin to find the inner healing that we need now. Because I noticed something else while I was there —- almost everyone who had a hard story to share with me also had some major health issues. This magnificent body that God created was never meant to carry so much pain for such a long journey.
My prayer for today is that we be like Job…. in the second half of his life!
So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. Job 42:12