Recently during my devotions I was struck with the connection between suffering and glory (Romans 8:17). We are "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ," but suffering and glory are intertwined in God's plan. It was for Jesus, and it is for us. Suffering is making us look more like Jesus day by day. Is that not what we want-to become more like Jesus?
As a caregiver you may be saying, "Really? I could use a little less heartaches and trials. You do not know how difficult it is to see my loved one deteriorate in his or her health. You do not know how difficult it is to meet his or her needs." Yes, I do understand the difficulty of that experience having lived it myself. Yet if God promised to bring ultimate good and His glory out of the most difficult and impossible situations, can we not trust Him in everything that He allows in our lives?
Recently I also watched the movie "God is Not Dead in DVD format. I do not remember seeing such a powerful movie before. So many minor plots were running along side the main plot; all were pointing to the same theme that God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and He is not dead. I especially liked the scene where the son was visiting his mother with dementia. The son said in effect, "If God is alive why has a sweet person like you ended up with dementia, while I have everything going for me?" This man's mom who did not recognize him any longer said, "The devil sometimes lets people stay in the jail cell of a carefree life, so they do not see their need of the Lord and turn to Him." Something to think about, isn't it, when we wonder "why?" in the trials of life.
As I look back at my life I see the heartaches of seeing my husband deteriorate in his health and the helpless feelings and sadness this brought. When I look back I see the grief of loosing him to death. Yet I also see God's care and provision for me through it all. I see in my mind's eye my husband, Wayne, free from disease and praising the Lord in glory. I see even blessings that have come to me from this. As I look at my present life sometimes I see problems and have fears about my future, but I also see a God who has promised to never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5b). I see a God who is redeeming all things for my ultimate good and His glory.
I know that some of the things you are going through, dear caregiver, may not feel good. You may feel, as if so many things are out of your control. Although you love your loved one with all your heart, you may feel weighed down with responsibility and heartache. Remember that the Holy Spirit is praying for you right at this moment (Romans 8:26-27). Also remember that as you travel this path of family care-giving, the Lord is with you each step of the way. He has your loved one in His hands, and He has you in His hands. Your suffering or difficulties is somehow in God's economy bringing about His glory and your ultimate glory. It is doing the same for your loved one for whom you are caring.