I’m sure that my father will not mind me sharing that he turned ninety this week. I still remember Dad asking me what it felt to have achieved my first decade and here he is with nine decades behind him.
It has been a bit of a year for Dad and for the rest of the family, not to mention the world as a whole. We lost Mum two weeks before Dad’s 89th birthday, and held her funeral the day after Dad’s 89th. A couple of months later my sister Linda died. Neither Mum nor Linda lost their lives to Covid-19 but many people across the globe have lost loved ones to Covid during the last twelve months. It has been a difficult year for all of us.
Here in the UK we started our first lockdown on 23 March 2020. We are currently eleven weeks into lockdown three. The first lockdown left Dad isolated as the rules prevented anyone from visiting him. Current lockdown rules provide for ‘bubbles’ in certain circumstances. I am in a bubble with Dad meaning that I can leave my home and visit him (and stay over).
Dad managed to move home at the start of the latest lockdown. The bungalow where Mum and Dad enjoyed twenty years of their retirement is but a memory. It served its purpose. Although they were very happy there, Dad seems even happier in the retirement apartment where he is now living. He first looked at the apartment at the end of October 2020 and moved in on 7 January 2021. This is quite an amazing feat given the normal process of selling and buying homes in the UK. Even more amazing is just how perfect the apartment is for Dad in every conceivable way. Dad believes that God’s hand was in this move. I agree. There can be no other explanation. As Dad has sought to honour God in a life of Christian service, so God has blessed him.
I’m blessed to know that God has blessed Dad. Not a day passes without Dad expressing his gratitude. I’m grateful too. I live 160 miles away but I don’t have to worry about Dad because God has his back as He has done for the last nine decades.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”
“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14: 1-6 NLT)