Life can be overwhelming at times. This can lead to depression and despair. This is certainly true for family caregivers who often carry a very heavy load of responsibility and concern for their loved ones for whom they are caring. That is why it is so important that family caregivers try to nurture themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is also important for them to seek help from others wherever possible.
We often have this idea in our Christian circles that Christians should never be discouraged and that they should always have a smile on their face. It is true that we can have joy even in moments of grief and despair, but it certainly is not true that Christians do not become overwhelmed and even depressed at times. The apostle Paul readily admitted during moments in his ministry to feeling overwhelmed at times. In II Corinthians 1:8-9 Paul said, "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life-----But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead."
The Psalmists in the book of Psalms also honestly admited to moments of despair and discouragement. In these moments of discouragement, however, the psalmists would turn to the Lord. In Psalm 42 the psalmist reminded himself to not be "downcast," but to put his hope in the Lord.
Despair and discouragement can cause us to seek options that are not God's best of us. Sometimes we so desperately want to "fix" the situation. Worst yet we may convince yourselves that the Lord has forgotten about us. This is never true. God has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5b). God will help and provide the best answers, but it is always in His timing. We often want answers and solutions right away, but that is not always God's best plan. We need to wait on the Lord. If we do this we will see the goodness of the Lord (Psalm 27:13-14).
What can we do as we are wait for and on the Lord? How can we protect ourselves from despair? We need to spend time in God's Word and meditate on and treasure His promises to us. We need to look for and expect God's goodness to be shown in our lives no matter how long it takes and no matter how difficult life becomes. We also need to spend time in prayer and communion with our Lord.
Dear caregiver, your burdens and responsibilities can be heavy at times. When you begin to be discouraged and are tempted to despair, wait on the Lord.