“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).
As I was helping an elderly friend with her seat belt in my van yesterday, I teared up. It reminded me of helping my daddy. He is no longer here to help, as he went to Heaven just after midnight on December 31, 2022, two days after his 95th birthday. Three years of living in our home (2018-2021) seems to have gone fast as I think about it now. Dad had to gradually give up so much of his independence as the days went by; he had been the one to help you. “Honey, do you have enough light, there?” I remember him asking as I would be reading or doing homework so long ago. In my mom's last years, some of them bedridden, Dad's tender care of her was much more than turning on a light.
There is a level of trust that has to happen in caregiving. I can so clearly picture Dad, cozy in his navy fleece robe in the mornings with the news on the television in the dimly lit living room. When Scott entered the room, Dad would rummage in his robe pocket and fish out his hearing aids for Scott to “service”: to clean and turn on. Dad, with the beginnings of dementia, could no longer do such tasks. Scott honestly felt honored that Dad trusted him with this.
Growing up, faith was left to my sisters and me. We believed in God and had a Bible gifted to us at different times by our parents. But Mom and Dad came from different faith backgrounds and it was kept that way for the most part. When Scott was asked to preach by Pastor Rick in the years Dad was in our house, he would go out into our pole barn to study the Word and write sermons. When Scott would come back into the house, Dad would ask out of curiosity what he had been studying. So this sharing got to be a regular thing. And, then, prayer began to happen. Yes, those prayers were indications that Dad had/was putting his trust in the Lord.
With the beginnings of Covid, I stayed home on Sundays. Our church met in an extra small gathering and videotaped the services on Saturday evenings. So it was Dad and I watching church on Sunday mornings with our first cups of coffee for many months. It was a precious time. Scott introduced Dad to additional preachers and programs on YouTube. And we liked to tap our feet and quietly worship in our hearts to the Gaithers, one of Dad's favorites. Dad would often respond with “Oh boy!” when something clicked with him.
So what is “trust”? It can be scary at times to relinquish, let go, of our own control in a matter—to admit that we can't do something on our own, that we aren't perfect, and need help, for the long term—for eternity. God wants you to accept, hope and trust, in his Son, Jesus. It's way beyond the help Dad got with his hearing aids; it's handing over your life.