by Donna Marie Berger

The Bible tells us that ‘children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3 NLT), and Jesus says, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me.” (Mark 9:37 NLT)

It seems like yesterday my husband and I welcomed Laura and then our twins Meredith and Christian into our life. And yet, I spent the last 4 days with Christian as he moved out of his apartment and prepared for to take the Bar Exam. Where did those intervening years go?

We packed, cleaned and lugged. Christian studied, I organized. He enjoyed our home-cooked meals and I am now an expert on Criminal Law! We prayed, laughed, ate ice-cream cake out of the box, and possibly I blinked away some tears when I left. It was the official close to the ‘children as students’ season of life.  I headed home to Florida and Christian headed to New York.

Years before John and I had gone through the same transition with Laura, and more recently with our daughter, Meredith. We watched proudly as they officially took their place in the adult world – and we survived. Having Christian still in school tempered the nostalgia. Things are different this time – all three children are officially independent adults….and John and I are truly empty nesters. The term ‘empty nest’ certainly has an ‘old’ ring to it and for those of us in that season it shifts the focus of life on ourselves. Suddenly, we are hyper-aware of the aging process and the effect it is having on us. We are not as fast, nor strong, and graying hair and wrinkles betray us.

Time for a feel-good verse! 2 Corinthians 4:16 says,

Though outwardly we are aging, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

Can I get an “Amen” for that? In one of her Bible Studies, Beth Moore asks, “what if our time is not going, but it is coming?” We are precisely where we are supposed to be and that is to be celebrated not mourned. There is a time for every purpose and there is a purpose for every time. Faith is the constant here. We are continually being renewed for our next purpose until we reach the ultimate treasure, Resurrection glory with Christ.

When we plant our hearts and minds in faith, we can be like:

“trees planted in the house of the Lord…in old age they will still bear fruit; healthy and green they will remain.” Psalm 92:13 BSB

The Lord calls each of us to a purpose. Let’s not let our obsession with time and age cause us to miss His call. Pray with me friends,  

O God from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. Now that I am [getting] old and gray, do not abandon me. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. Psalm 71:17-18 NLT

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