Monday, June 20, 2011

The Wise Caregiver

Caregivng is one of the most challenging endeavors an individual may have to face in life. This is especially true, if one’s loved one for whom one is caring is either terminal or enduring a long-term illness. In such cases a grief process already begins to take place the day of diagnosis. I know it did for me. As a caregiver if I had not had a solid faith foundation, I would have folded under the emotional and physical pressure of caregiving.

That reminds me of the parable of the wise and foolish man in the Bible (Matthew 7:24-29). The wise man built his house on the rock. When the rains and winds came and the streams rose the wise man’s house stood, because it was built on a solid foundation. The foolish man built his house in sand. When the rains and winds came and the streams rose the foolish man’s house fell down flat.

This parable is so applicable to caregivng with all its heartaches, storms, and challenges. Wise caregivers will dig deeply into God’s Word. They will hear, read, and obey God’s Word. They will rest in God’s promise that He will always be with them and never forsake them. They will believe the Lord their God when He tells them of His love for them. They will look for and trust God’s guidance and strength in facing the discouragement and sometimes agonizing decisions of caregiving.

Wise caregivers will often experience difficult emotions and even spiritual storms, as they go through their caregiving experience. They sometimes feel as if they can not hold up under the pressure of the whole caregiving experience for even one more day, but when that happens they once again look to God for strength to face each moment of every day. The wise caregiver has learned that they can not seek to be self-reliant, but must rely entirely on the Lord God Their lives are based on the sure promises of the Bible and on the Lord God Himself, however. Hence, their lives are based on a sure foundation.

Dear caregiver, make sure you are not trying to persevere in the storms of caregiving alone. Perseverance is a good virtue, but sometimes we have to reach out to other people for help. We are not meant to live this life in the power of our own perceived resources. Most importantly, we have to make sure we are relying on the sure foundation of God’s Word, the Bible, and on a saving faith in the Lord God. The storms of caregiving are often so intense. Hence, it is essential that we are standing on God’s sure foundation instead of the unstable sands of our own feeble efforts.

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