The Frailty of Life & the meaning of Life

Al Ngu          February 9, 2023

The frailty of life in this world should make everyone think hard and long for the long term that goes beyond just the 401K for retirement. Looking at what happened to thousands of people died in the massive earthquakes that just hit Turkey and Syria, our hearts break and grieve for them. And when I saw the TikTok videos on pulling out 6 year-old kid from the concrete blocks after 3 days in the cold weather freezing with snow and how the crowd cheered moved me to tears. And prior to that, I saw my own 83 year old mom who is getting older and more frail, and struggled to walk well, but thank God otherwise she is generally good. I thank God I have the opportunity to share with her the gospel and the exposition of the whole scriptures when I call her weekly. And I sincerely appreciate and thank my little brother Julian and his wife living with mum and taking care of her. The Lord bless him.

You know the reality is we’re all aging and moving towards closer to the finishing line in our lives. I just read Romans 13.

Romans 13:11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.

Paul exhorts us to wake up from our slumber or our sleep, but even closer to the finishing line when Christ comes back. And there’s ultimately complete salvation. The chances is most people are still sleeping in their slumber because they don’t think about what’s going to happen in the end time. People get old, and some are already old. Age is really a relative thing, but the real deal is to know the end is coming and are you ready for it? Many people drift into the old age, and try to enjoy the pleasures of the world as much as possible, without knowing what is ahead. I think this is very sad , uncertain and also being very ignorant, not knowing. Not thinking of the end of life, it’s not going to make it go away.

The other thing grieves is the institution of old folks home or nursing home. I have seen and heard some of our friends who put their senior parents in this retirement home or old folks home, and basically what they do essentially all day long is to sleep, eat, watch TV, take medication, and calling for help. Sometimes worse some of the horror stories we heard, nurses would put the medications on the person’s beside and a little water, without bothering if the persons actually going to take the medication or not. Or worse, hit the old man or woman. The entire old folks home culture in the West seems to be a convenience outlet for the grown kids who want to continue to enjoy their own lives without being bothered with the aged parents. To me as an Asian immigrant to America, when I first saw and heard of this, I was horrified. The idea of children looking after aged parents it’s just naturally the responsibility of the children, as parents had raised them up with love and care and with great sacrifice. The notion that when children are grown up and parents are aged and feeble, old parents are conveniently slotted into some nursing homes which would not cost children’s’ down time and effort to look after them is unheard of and a very foreign in the Asian culture, and also in the biblical culture in the Old Testament and the New Testament. If you look at the Old Testament Jewish families look after their aged parents. With modern amenities, cities like New York of course you have the option of having the Medicare to have the State paid nurse to come and stay in your house even 24/7 to look after your aged parents if they medically require it, which is truly a wonderful gracious generous provision in New York State.

But the principle is this, children should look after their aged parents. There’s nothing hip and cool about living your own lives with your children while dumping your aged parents in their nursing home. Our friends, a married couple, in Long Island with the old 80 plus and 90 plus years old parents and in-laws living with them. They do their best to take care of them while they go to work and show the affection and care to them. Of course when they’re not around, they do have the nursing aides from the State to help look after them. You know psychologically and physiologically the aged parents or grandparents are just much more happier and joyful to be shown affection and care from their own family instead of from the nurses and strangers in their nursing home. In all ways and forms and shapes, their health just get better and live longer. And above all the emotional well-being is far better than staying without children and grandchildren at home. I’ve never seen a single instance in the Bible where parents are left in the nursing homes. Some may argue that there were no nursing homes in the old days, but we do have the same capacity of love as they do.

The Bible talks about love your parents and look after your parents so that:

Ephesians Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”[a]

The Bible says children obey your parents in the Lord, not outside the Lord. Also honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with the promise so that it may go well with you and you may enjoy long life on the earth. I’m thinking most of the grown children today, when they put their parents into the nursing home, have not read this verse or been taught this verse. What’s bigger than this versus is the fact that it shows that we are basically self-centered people. And God has to put a promise right after honor your parents so that you may go well with you and enjoy long life. And it is very encouraging that God will think of this because he already foresees the problems is coming within the families in the future. The promise of God that you may go well with you and if you dishonor your parents do not expect that your life will go well. And do not expect that God will bless you to enjoy long life on the earth. People may be wondering why do they die young or young age because they have not obeyed and honored their parents. You know God takes parents very seriously and he expects us to honor our parents and to love them and obey them. America truly needs to read Ephesians 6 all over again and churches should preach them all over again. The command to honor our parents is even found in the Ten Commandments with a promise of long life!

Exodus 20: 12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Somehow the worldly modern contemporary culture catechizes our children ourselves day and night 24/7 to the point that jettisoned the commands of the Lord from the holy scriptures.

May we take the promises and the warnings of the holy scriptures seriously and let it sink in so we live the life that will honor our parents and honor and obey our God. And the blessing is we may go well in life and enjoy long life! How about that?

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