“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come, eternal life.”—LUKE 18:29-30 (NIV)
Mary left her college teaching career in another state to take care of her elderly mother. As an only child, she knew if not for her, there would be no one to take care of her mother. Without a car and being a 24-hours-a-day caregiver to her mother, she led an isolated and lonely existence. Sometimes it seemed like a thankless job and a burden.
Mary’s mother had gained over a hundred pounds in the care center where she had previously resided, and could no longer walk. Mary adjusted her diet; her mother began to lose weight. Soon she was up on her feet and outside using a walker.
One day, Mary and her mother passed a church a few blocks from their home. Mary immediately decided that although it wasn’t the church they would necessarily choose, at least they could get there by themselves. From then on, Mary and her mother went to that church every Sunday and actively worshipped and took part in activities.
Years later, Mary’s mother passed on and Mary shared, “It’s hard living without her. I cared for her for so many years, and now I have no one left in my family.” However, from that stroll out into the neighborhood, God had provided her with a new family—one that continues to give her encouragement and hope for the future.