For the past couple years, I have been using my dad’s Seniors’ Devotional Bible New International Version. Through his notations and highlighting of sentences and passages, my father, although deceased, continues to share his faith and his wisdom with me.

As a senior, I participate in groups and activities with persons of all ages. In some groups, the members are fully retired or working part time. In the “retirement” groups, conversations frequently shift to one’s declining health, the declining health of one’s loved one, or the anxiety/fear of anticipated declining health. It can be depressing and anxiety producing.

Will eye injections prevent significant vision loss?  Will the back surgery decrease the pain and increase mobility or will it make the condition worse?  Will we have enough money?  Will I have Alzheimer’s in the future?  How long can I live where I am?

Just at the right time, I found the devotional reading “To Become Like Christ” by Don Anderson in the Seniors’ Devotional Bible.  “Retirement can be a marvelous occasion for God to put the finishing touches on our lives so that the world will see Christ in us…”

Mr. Anderson summarizes the Apostle Paul’s goals outlined in his letter to the Philippians. The goals are meant for all ages, but I’ve found the ones I have put in bold text speaking especially to me right now at this stage of life (and perhaps to other seniors) when I find myself worrying about the future:

  1. Loving with the love of Jesus
  2. Living for the glory of God
  3. Confronting life one day at a time
  4. Remaining stable in the storm of suffering
  5. Being a servant
  6. Knowing Christ intimately
  7. Keeping the joy
  8. Maintaining an effective prayer life
  9. Planning financially for a Christlike finish
  10. Depending upon the adequacy of Christ all the way home

I end this writing with the message of our last Christmas Eve sermon:  “We have Jesus as our Savior and we will never be alone.” Goal number ten above provided such a sense of relief as I read this earlier this year.  To achieve this sense of relief may require work with a counselor or pastor, and the support of others along with prayer and readings.  The beauty of goal number ten above “Depending upon the adequacy of Christ all the way home” is that it speaks to us beyond today as seniors or retired seniors; it speaks to us for the entirety of our lives.

Linda Kramer, LISW

Clinical Social Worker

Lutheran Family Service, Des Moines office

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