Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thankfulness

(The below blog post is a repeat of a post I previously published at this blog at this time of year.  I hope it will prove to be a blessing to you again.  I will not be posting here next week. The next new post will be on or around December 2.  Use this time to read some of my older posts here at Christian Care-giving.  You can also check out my other blog, a devotional blog here:
http://scripturemoments.blogspot.com/ )


Family care-giving can be very discouraging especially when one's love one continues to deteriorate in his or her health.  It is difficult to find things for which to be thankful in such a scenario.  It seems impossible to have a thankful heart under such circumstances.

Yet a thankful heart opens up blessings from heaven and foretastes of heaven that cannot be attained in any other way.  A thankful heart further revives hope and allows us to communicate on a more intimate level with the Lord.  A thankful heart does not deny the reality of life's challenges, and care-giving certainly presents a host of problems and heartaches.  A thankful heart does, however, recognize the Lord's presence and joy in the midst of those problems.

So perhaps the best place to start, dear caregiver, is to thank the Lord each day for His presence and peace.  Also as you go through the day look for even the Lord's tiny treasures which He has placed on your path.  Look with spiritual eyes for His wonders in your life.  I have mentioned this before but I remember as a caregiver being challenged to write down each day at least three things for which I was thankful that day.  That helped me immensely in persevering in the care-giving role.

It is said that a thankful heart takes the sting out of trials and adversity.  Family care-giving often facilitates many challenges and trials.  Yet we are commanded in the Bible to give thanks in everything.  We may not always FEEL like giving thanks, but when we offer a SACRIFICE of thanks in spite of our feelings or circumstances, God gives us joy in spite of our circumstances.

That does not mean we always feel happy.  Happiness and joy are not the same thing, but joy in the Lord and grief can coexist.  It may seem nonsensical to thank God in and for difficult circumstances. Yet in the measure that we do so we will be blessed, even though the adversities may remain.  Dear caregiver, thank the Lord today for His blessings!

In the United States we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day this week.  It is a day when we especially try to remember to thank and praise God for the blessings of the past year.  Care-giving is often challenging and difficult.  Yet there are many blessings in our lives even in the most difficult of moments.  Dear caregiver, thank the Lord for your blessings daily and not just on special occasions. It will lift your burdens and add joy to your life.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Lord is Our Refuge

Be it care-giving heartaches or some other challenging circumstance in our lives, it is important to remember that the Lord is our refuge, our loving protection, and fortress.  Psalm 91:4 tells us that He lovingly covers us with with His feathers.

Today I am going to link you to another blog of mine-a devotional blog.  This post is based on Psalm 91.  Click on the link below.  I hope you will find it to be a blessing.

https://scripturemoments.blogspot.com/2018/11/psalm-91.html

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ruth, the Caregiver

 This post this week is a chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.

The name of Ruth in the Old Testament immediately came to mind as a Biblical example of a caregiver.  We often associate Ruth along with her mother-in-law, Naomi, as widows.  We remember God's provision for them through His servant, Boaz.  There is much comfort in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament for widows.  There is much in the book of Ruth to which Christian caregivers can relate as well, however.

Ruth's husband died while she was probably a relatively young woman.  We do not know if this death of her husband happened suddenly, or if Ruth's husband was sick for a long time before he died.  We do not know, if Ruth needed to fulfill the role of caregiver for her husband.  We do know for certain, however, that Ruth showed a sweet care-giving spirit with her mother-in-law.

A number of years before her mother-in-law, Naomi, and her husband, Elimelech, had moved to Moab because of a famine in their land of Israel.  After some time in Moab Elimelech died.  Later, both Naomi's sons died (one of these sons had been married to Ruth). When Naomi decided to return to Israel Ruth insisted on going with Naomi in spite of Naomi's urgings to not go with her but to return to the comfort of her familiar homeland.

In a beautiful passage in Ruth 1:16-17 Ruth begged Naomi not to ask her to leave her.  She promised Naomi that Naomi's people and God would be her people and God.  This, I believe, was a beautiful commitment to God, but it was also a beautiful commitment to Naomi on the part of Ruth.  Ruth was willing to sacrifice everything secure in her life to be Naomi's caregiver and provider.  Even though Naomi was not ill at the time she needed the loving care and support that Ruth would give her.  We read in the Old Testament book of Ruth how Ruth did all she could to provide for Naomi, in spite of Naomi's initial lack of gratitude and warmth.

You too, dear caregiver, have sacrificed much to be a loving caregiver to your loved one.  You have done this even at times when little appreciation was shown in return for your actions.  You have most likely not been a perfect caregiver, yet you have persevered in what you felt God was calling you to do.  You have been willing to forgo your own comfort and security for the love and commitment you have for your loved one.

Dear Christian caregiver, God, our Redeemer, (of whom Boaz was a picture) will bless you and protect you; as He did Ruth.  Your work is so very important, even though it appears overwhelming and hopeless at times.  Trust that God will bless you for your efforts through His presence and care on this earth.  Most importantly, He is laying up treasures for you in heaven!