My mum came to visit me today, with my sister. In our family, we are really proud of her. I think I’ve mentioned her autobiography before, and she’s still out and about, doing her voluntary work, popping in to visit the ‘old dears’ and knitting teddies, scarves and chickens for the Christmas shoe box appeal, or to raise funds for a local charity. She can still be called upon to make wonderful costumes for her great-grandchildren’s performances, and a host of other things. She was not too pleased at having to give up driving – and she was a good safe driver – but just because the cost of insurance reached the point of ridiculous. She’s lived life to the full, and has many a yarn to tell you. At the age of 94, she’ll happily tell you she’s ‘had a good innings’.
Jacob was somewhat older when he reached Egypt, and told Pharaoh he was 130 (Genesis 47:7-10). But apparently his years had been ‘few and difficult’ compared to his father and grandfather. It is probably fair to say he’d had a good share of problems, but many of them were of his own making as he’d manipulated and ‘twisted’ his way through life, and through his failure to set a good example to his children, or to treat them fairly. He’d had more than his allotted share of blessings, as he’d cheated his brother out of them, yet he still felt life hadn’t been so kind.
And it strikes me that life is what you make of it. If you’ve read her book, you’ll know my mum hasn’t had life all easy; but her life has been fruitful, and I reckon her kids are a credit to her – but I would say that wouldn’t I! It’s not what you’ve been given in life that counts, but what you do with it. Jesus taught that in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). I can’t think of anything I would want more than for God to say to me, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Holy Spirit, show me the things in my life that would prevent me receiving that commendation, and help me put them right.