January 10, 2013
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8
In Germany, as in other countries, long-term health care costs are rising.
As a result folks are looking for a way of taking care of grandma and grandpa, without breaking the bank. Apparently, some have found what they believe is the answer: ship the old folks to a nursing home in another country where the costs of caring are considerably less.
It is an incredibly practical solution to an expensive situation.
On the other hand, it may not be the most caring way to proceed.
Believing that some folks who suffer from dementia are being sent to other countries because they don't know where they are, the head of Germany's Alzheimer's Society said, "It is inhumane." She added, these folks need a familiar cultural environment because "they're very much living in an old world consisting of earlier memories."
Now the truth is this: it's not just the elderly or those suffering from dementia who like to be surrounded by people and things which are familiar. It's more comfortable. It's reassuring. It gives us a sense of who we are and where we belong.
This takes us to the passage above. After many years of leadership, Moses was told to appoint Joshua as his successor. It must have been a disconcerting, an unsettling time for the people and the prophet's replacement.
This is why the Lord offered His threefold reassurance: I am going ahead of you. I will be with you. I will not leave or forsake you. As the children of Israel looked forward to conquering and settling the land God had promised, those words must have offered a great deal of comfort and hope. God had guaranteed He would accompany them, as they entered their uncertain and unknown future.
In these opening weeks of a New Year, the Lord offers the same reassurance to us.
He who sent His Son to be our sacrifice and offer Himself as our substitute will not leave us or forsake us. No matter what the days ahead may bring, the Lord will be present and by our side.
He has made His promise, and the promise will be kept.
That is the one thing of which we can be certain in 2013.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in this New Year may I give thanks for Your ongoing care, guidance and presence. Especially when situations seem uncertain and unsettling may we trust in You with faith unshaken. In the Savior's Name we ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries