Do you ever feel overwhelmed and discouraged by your care-giving responsibilities, dear caregiver? Recently in my devotions I was struck by a passage in Judges 6 and 7 in the Old Testament. The Israelites, God's Old Testament people, had been under severe and brutal attack for many years by an enemy nation.
One day God came to a man named Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12b.) Gideon response in effect was as follows, “But Lord, what about all the horrific things that have happened to us the last years? If you are with us, Lord, why has this happened? Why have you abandoned us?” God's response to Gideon in return was “Go in the strength you have and save Israel---am I not sending you? (Judges 6:14.) Finally Gideon said, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in the family.” (Judges 6:15.) The Lord replied, “I will be with you.” (Judges 6:16a)
Have you, dear caregiver, ever asked the Lord why he has allowed the difficult circumstances of your loved one's disease? God did not give Gideon answers to his “why?” questions. He just told him to go in the strength God and given him and to do the task God had assigned him. He even called Gideon a “mighty warrior” in spite of the fact that Gideon felt as if he was the weakest of the weak. God will not usually give us the answers to our “why?” questions as well, dear caregiver. He just asks you to lean on Him for strength, as you go about your care-giving tasks. He understands your feelings of weakness and even discouragement at times. He asks you to do the “impossible tasks” knowing that He uses weak people in powerful ways. Dear caregiver, He even calls you His “mighty warrior!” He is our peace.
My years as a caregiver for my husband and my years as a widow since have taught me much about the need for dependence on the Lord. When I am weak, He is strong. God does not want self-reliance. He wants God-reliance in our lives. Tremendous victories come from that. It did in Gideon's life (Judges 7). It will in your life as well, dear caregiver.
Your victory may be different than Gideon's victory over Israel's enemies. God may choose to heal your loved one on this earth. God may also choose to take your loved one Home to Him in eternity. There is victory either way for your loved one. No matter what happens there is victory for you as well, dear caregiver. God will use your story to touch lives. He will make beauty come from ashes. He will use your weakness by giving you His strength. You too, dear caregiver, are God's “mighty warrior,” for in your weakness God is and will continue to use you in mighty ways! So persevere, mighty caregiver! God is with you!
(On another note I recently gave my personal testimony in church. It you want to listen to it go to my church website here: http://www.oostburgopc.org/ Then click on sermons. Then click on “by month.” Then click on “recent.” After that scroll down to the evening service for March 29, 2015 entitled “patient endurance in trials” based on James 5:7-11. I would recommend you listening to the whole sermon, but if you wish to just hear my part go about 30 to 32 minutes into the sermon, and it will be mostly just my testimony which is about 6 minutes. The text of what I said is actually in my blog here a couple blogs posts ago called “My Personal Testimony.”)