My grandmother's health has been rapidly failing for the past 13 months and someone has been with her almost constantly for that entire time. I am so thankful for the various family members who have spent time with her and helped care for her. While I know that this has certainly been a physical, mental and emotional burden for many...they do it out of love and honor for her...for the deposits she has made in their lives in the past. While we are instructed to cleave to our spouses upon getting married, we are also called to honor our parents in Exodus 20:12...one of the Ten Commandments. And it has been a blessing to me to see my family members carry this out in their lives. It clearly depicts how important our relationships are.
This made me begin to ponder what would happen to a person, in a similar health situation, with terrible family relationships. Would their children re-arrange their lives to help...would their grandchildren stop by bringing along a smile and a special treat? This made my heart break for those that may spend their last days in bitterness...loneliness...as an inconvenience. When your health fails, will there be someone there to care for you, to help you? If one of your parents, grandparents or siblings suddenly needs special care...will you be there to help? Or will spats over what someone said at a picnic or didn't say at Christmas get in the way? Will the seeds of jealousy or anger or self-pity in your heart prevent you from showing love or having love shown to you? Are you feuding with a sibling? Have you considered what this is doing to the rest of the family? Is it worth it? Forgiveness is such a tough task for us sinners...we always want to be right. What if you are right? Does it feel good to be right and angry? Or would it feel better to forgive and let go of any bitterness...to not have an upset stomach every time your path crossed that of the offender? Despite His righteousness, Jesus took the punishment we deserved for our countless sins and God forgave us. Are you more righteous than Jesus? Are all the wrongs against you bigger and worse than those against God? If God can forgive...why can't you?
So, make your relationships right. Ask for forgiveness...a new start. Grant forgiveness...a new start. Your life will be richer for it.