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Accepting God’s Plan for You in Later Years: Learning from Mary and Joseph

Accepting God's plan for our lives can be difficult at any age. Even seniors who have followed the Lord for the majority of their years can become overwhelmed when facing the loss of loved ones, health issues or strained finances.

The chaplains and staff members throughout the Bethesda communities are always ready to lend their aid or a listening ear to residents who are struggling, and it's important to remember the Bible is a priceless guide in times of trouble.

With the holidays quickly approaching, many seniors will be reading over the Christmas story, and this presents the opportunity for them to prayerfully seek a new perspective of this familiar account and through it a renewal of their faith and hope.

Mary and Joseph are key figures in the first chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and their lives provide wonderful examples of following God during uncertain situations. One of the main lessons to be learned from studying their lives is obedience through trust. When God reveals His plans to Mary and Joseph, they both immediately chose to answer His message with obedience (Luke 1:38 and Matthew 1:24).

Mary's song provides a clue in how they were able to respond in this way.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy. Luke 1:49-54

This discourse makes it clear that Mary had a deep understanding of God's promises and actions in the past and knew His character. This knowledge led her to praise Him for the wonderful things that He had done throughout history and the things He was currently doing in her life. She deemed God to be worthy of trust, even in the face of the uncertain future it would bring her.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

One of the first memory verses children often learn in Sunday School classes, this Biblical jewel asks a lot of believers but promises a lot too. It isn't always easy to obey and follow God's plan for our lives, especially when our circumstances feel beyond our capability to handle. However, God promises that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. Seniors who choose to follow Him, like Mary and Joseph, will discover that He is faithful to sustain them in every step of their journey.

And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4 (KJV)