I have some wonderful verses and words of encouragement for you in the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for elderly parents, helping with grandkids, and all the while doing your best to walk faithfully in God's Word. I was doing a Bible study in my beloved NIV Large Print Life Application Study Bible on the words crown and jewels. It was such a blessing to me and I hope it will be for you as well.
It can sometimes be easy for us, in the Sandwich Generation, to feel like we aren't doing that much. Most of us are probably not missionaries in Africa, politicians working night and day in the hopes of making positive changes, pastors impacting the lives of hundreds of people, or successful business people helping provide jobs for thousands. We are often simple individuals, helping our elderly parents, being involved in educational and spiritual activities for grandparents and their grandchildren, and staying totally busy doing all that.
It's important, however, for us to remember that God wants our work – whether as a Granny Nanny or as a global leader – to be done "heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." Colossians 3:23-24 And we are blessed to be able to find plenty more of the promises of God in the Bible to encourage us in that, such as:
- Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God ; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness ; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.1 Peter 5:4 (I, personally, consider those involved in spiritual activities for grandparents and their grandchildren to be included in this. 🙂 )
- I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize ? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 1 Corinthians 9:22-25 (All things includes caring for senior parents who need to know God or be encouraged in their walk with Him; teaching grandchildren about God…)
- …We also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10
- So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one ; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers ; you are God's field, God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident ; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss ; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 (This passage really encourages me. Not only do I find one of the promises of God in the Bible here, but He reminds me that IT IS GOD WHO CAUSES THE GROWTH. He uses me, which is so awesome, but I can rest in Him knowing HE is the responsible one! I so appreciate that!)
- I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction…But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry…. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day ; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:1-2, 5, 7-8 (Being a Sandwich Generation senior home care giver and grandparent gives us plenty of opportunities to share God's Word with family, friends, grandkids, doctors, nurses… And as we do, we work hard, endure hardship, and stay the course, looking forward to the crown of righteousness from our precious Lord and Savior.")
- Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial ; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 (AMEN!)
I hope and pray that these wonderful promises of God in the Bible will be an encouragement to all of you involved in ministry, whether in a church or at home in the trenches or both. 🙂 For more inspirational Bible verses and words of encouragement for the Sandwich Generation, be sure to visit Spiritual Sunday.