Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God. (Ps. 71:18)

IRMA FUNDERBURK had spent decades volunteering at her church, which she had come to love deeply. The people and the ministers over the years had come to have great affection for her too. But at the age of ninety-two, and living in a nursing home, traveling became very difficult for her—even dangerous if she wasn’t able to get the medical attention she might need. However, the church was putting on a pageant, and Irma was so sad that she would not be able to go. So the congregation took a special offering to hire an ambulance and EMTs to bring Irma to church for that special event. When she was given the gift, she just couldn’t stop crying. She was going to be able to enter the Lord’s house at least one more time.

The psalmist was convinced that God would never leave him or forsake him at any stage of his life. Perhaps reflecting back, he could see how God had stayed with him every step of the way—even though, perhaps, he might not have been aware of it at the time. He was convinced that even in his old age God’s presence would be as vibrant and alive as ever.

Irma had some wonderfully compassionate brothers and sisters in Christ. Because of their kindness, Irma experienced the grace of God and the freedom to worship in His house one more time. Let us never take for granted any opportunity to worship with the family of God.

Determine from your own recent experiences what provokes you to worship.

Doug Schmidt is a freelance writer and editor and is on staff with his church as a small-groups coach.