Sunday, December 31, 2023

Maybe It’s Our Time

By David R. Ferguson
    In writing to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul stated, 1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6 [ESV])
    One of the most difficult things to do is watch a beloved parent, who in former years you looked upon as a stalwart of strength, slowly lose the vitality he or she formerly possessed, and witness their former vigor sapped away through the slowly encroaching years. As the ensuing years pass by, hard decisions need to be made. One of my longtime friends shared with me recently a similar situation his family was facing regarding his own father. This is how he described it.
    The tension in the room was palpable. It could be literally felt. His elderly father was in the living room, and his mother, the loyal wife of 67 years, was frustrated because my friend’s sister and brother had suggested that their father should stop driving. As they continued their discussion, my friend prayed for words that would help. When the tension eased for a moment, and emotions had calmed down, my friend felt the time was right for him to approach his father. Understanding that his father had been a proud man, and never looked for a handout or wanted to be a burden to anyone, my friend began the conversation by talking about the ways his father had helped people throughout the years. He finally asked his father if helping others had been a burden to him. His father thought for a moment as a smile creased his face, and he replied, “No, it was never a burden. In fact, I always felt it was a great blessing to help others that brought him great joy.” My friend responded with a smile of his own, saying gently to his father, “Then might I suggest that maybe the time has come for others to experience that same joy by helping you.” His father agreed, saying he had not thought of it this way before.
    Many of us go through life determined to do everything ourselves. In our family, at work, and perhaps especially as we age, we are determined to go it alone and not to be a burden to others. However, God has created us to live in fellowship with one another. Over time our roles change. Sometimes we are the ones who help, and sometimes we are the ones who receive help. This is the beauty of fellowship in God. But don’t be afraid to ask for help of those who are your brothers and sisters in the Lord. That’s what we are here for.

- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Mentor Church of Christ in Mentor, OH.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or

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