When I left home for college, my parents would check up on me during our many phone conversations. "Are you eating enough? Are you getting enough protein? Make sure you get enough sleep and don't work too hard. Be careful driving."
Now it's my turn. "How are you feeling? How are you sleeping? Are you eating enough? Have you seen the doctor? Are you taking your meds? Perhaps someone can give you a ride instead." This is uncharted territory now that the roles seem to be slowly reversing, and it's a little scary.
I wish I could give you a list that covers every aspect of caring for aging parents. Wouldn't that be nice? I'd like that same list, too, but life is never as simple as a checklist. Our families are different, and each circumstance has its own set of challenges. Our parents may live with us, down the street, or multiple states away. They may be as strong as Caleb entering the Promised Land, or they may be facing a wide variety of medical conditions. We may have solid relationships with them, or the brokenness of life may have taken its toll. Our parents may be running the final leg of the race set before them, or we may be beseeching the Lord that this would be their day of salvation.
There are also times when I am at a loss to know what to do. I want to help and yet not overstep my bounds because they're still my parents. I also want to make the most of the time I have with them whether it is calling or visiting and loving them as much as I can. But there is something else I can do. I can pray.
God is never at a loss. He knows the concerns I have for my parents, and He knows better than I do what they need. I can lift up their health and mental faculties to the One who made them. I can pray for grace as they deal with the day-to-day frustrations of aging because He has numbered the hairs on their heads as well as their days. And I can pray for wisdom to know how to honor my father and mother in word and deed in this season of their lives.
My parents entrusted me to the Lord when I spread my wings and left the nest. It probably wasn't easy, but they believed He would be faithful. Surely, I can do the same for them by committing them through prayer into His loving and compassionate hands.