Some of you are aware of the painful situation that exists in our family --- one of our children is estranged from all of us; he has not spoken to us (or to his siblings) for three years now, and has resisted our efforts to reconcile. I first approached this verse with some dread . . . it is difficult to think of grandchildren that I may not see, or be able to hug and love.
It is indeed an honor to parents when their children and their grandchildren walk in the virtues that they have tried to model and teach. It is a blessing to live long enough to see those new families established, and to observe them serving and honoring God. It crowns a long and full life.
As I studied, however, and as my weekend (last) unfolded, I looked at this verse with fresh understanding. Let me explain. Late on Saturday night, my husband and daughter had just dropped his mom at her house, making sure she was snug and safe, and then they headed toward home (thirty miles away). Minutes after they left, she called in a panic and said her cat had knicked her hand with one tooth (whether it was accidental or he was irritated, we'll never know) and she could not stop the bleeding. Hubby turned around and went back when called, and doctored her hand for the night. (It was pretty large, and looked like it might need stitches if it wasn't handled correctly.) Concerned that it would be difficult for her to change the bandage with one hand and poor eyesight, I made the trip on Sunday, to clean and re-dress her wound. I took her to a local cafeteria for some prepared foods to stock her fridge, and washed up the dishes I found, so that her injured hand would not need to get wet. After I opened her Bible for her and set out her plate of lunch, I started for home.
As I drove away, I was glad that I could help her. I felt contentment because I had been able to minister to her in my own limited way. I had to stop myself from thinking about her other children who live far less than thirty miles from her, but who show less concern for her --- well, there is less action coupled with the compassion. (Remember earlier this week?!) I stopped, though, and asked for Him to forgive me for those thoughts, since that is their concern, not mine. Mine is to do what Scripture and my heart tells me is right, and "do it as unto the Lord."
I'm not saying all of this to get a pat on the head. Please don't take that away from this post. This is the point I am trying to make, but that Matthew Henry said, far better than I can say:
It is an honour to children to have wise and godly parents, and to have them continued to them even after they have themselves grown up and settled in the world. Those are unnatural children who reckon their aged parents a burden to them, and think they live too long; whereas, if the children be wise and good, it is as much their honour as can be, that thereby they are comforts to their parents in the unpleasant days of their old age.I believe this is what the second half of the verse means. And I am so grateful that He has blessed me with the opportunity to serve, to comfort, and to honor her.
Lord, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve others in some small way. I take as my example the way You ministered, when You were here on earth. Help me to show Your love and be Your hands and feet, right here where I live.