More From Renee Williams

June 5, 2024 by Renee Williams (California, USA)
Renee Williams and her mom
on her 91st birthday

Renee Williams’s mom and
their rescue dog Gracie

My devotion about “The God Who Stretches” was based on a short message I gave at an outdoor worship service in Japan. Once a year, Japanese churches hold a Sunday service in the mountains or on a beach to enjoy God’s creation. We usually went to a campground about an hour away where we enjoyed the cool breezes and pine trees. The casual setting made it a good time to invite unsaved friends and family. Although most came for the delicious barbecue and games, they also were touched by the worship songs and message. I borrowed a tent from a friend and set it up as a visual to better understand the message. It came in really handy when it started to rain!

When my mom turned 90, our family realized she needed more help as her eyesight had worsened and her walking wasn’t very steady. So I left the mission field behind and returned home to the US to take care of my mother. I’d been away 20 years, and so much had changed.

I soon found that I was not only here to help my mom but also many of her friends who couldn’t drive at night or needed help with their smartphones or TV remotes. One of my mom’s friends quipped that I’d just traded one mission field for another! Whenever I took a group of ladies to the supermarket, we had a hard time fitting the groceries in my car together with all the walkers and canes. Sometimes I struggled with my identity—did my life have significance now that I was no longer a missionary? I realized God was stretching me in new ways during this new season of life. God was asking, “Will you stretch out of your comfort zone when an elderly neighbor needs you to drop your plans and pick her up at the hospital? Will you be stretched to be more patient when you need to repeat things over and over again?”

Then on Easter Sunday, one of my mom’s friends went forward during the altar call and decided to be baptized! He is a 93-year-old widower, and it’s been a joy to see him grow in his new faith. I realized that God is indeed working here just as on the mission field!

In February, my mom celebrated her 91st birthday and is so happy to have me here with her. I think the process of aging has been a stretching experience for her as well. She needs to remember to trust in God for many simple things that have become more difficult with age.

When you think about the ways God is stretching you, could you also include a prayer for the many people who are struggling as caregivers? Thank you and God bless!

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Image by: Guy MOLL