I have been camping out in the book of Philippians in the Bible the last few weeks. I have been doing this with the help of a book called To Live is Christ, To Die Is Gain by Matt Chandler. Philippians is such a beautiful book. It shows us that we can have contentment and peace in even in the most difficult of circumstances. It was written by Paul while he was in prison for his faith!
I especially like Philippians chapter four. In chapter four Paul tells us to rejoice and to not be anxious about anything but to bring our concerns to the Lord with a thankful heart. Paul says he has learned to be content in all circumstances, in both the pleasant and in the difficult circumstances and in times of plenty and in times of want. Paul knew that joy and contentment comes only from the Lord, If we have all our dreams fulfilled and are living in plenty, we will not necessarily be content. This is because contentment can only come from the Giver and not from the gifts He gives. Without the Lord being the center and focus of our lives, there is still restlessness and emptiness. Likewise in difficult times we will give way to despair and discouragement, if we are not looking to the Lord.
Yet if we are seeking the Lord, He is sufficient no matter what our circumstances. God is powerful enough, perfect enough, and loving enough to meet ALL of our needs. When I was a family caregiver it was so easy to begin to give into despair, as I saw my husband's body deteriorate step by step. Yet as I look back on those days, I see that the Lord was faithful step by step.I have learned through experience how good and sufficient is my God.
I sometimes still am tempted to give into fear and discouragement, as I face problems as a widow It is sometimes difficult to be content in the extreme highs and lows and changes and challenges of life. Yet God has promised to meet all my needs "according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)
He promises the same for you, dear caregiver. Family care-giving can be challenging and sometimes discouraging and even sad. Yet it is often during these times that we learn that God is sufficient. We tend to search for Him in those times; and in the Lord's presence we find peace, joy, and contentment in the midst of the difficult circumstances. Joy and contentment is not found in perfect circumstances but in the presence of the Lord. Keep turning to Him, dear caregiver, when the clouds of discouragement appear on the horizon of your life.