Monday, November 5, 2012

“Never Been This Way Before."

Dear caregiver, do you weary of the constant changes in your loved one’s health? If one’s loved ones faces a disease from which there is a possible cure one continues to hope for their recovery. It is difficult going through those days, but there is hope for better days ahead. When one’s loved one’s disease is incurable and the declines are persistent one enters an even more difficult sphere. As a caregiver I so remember dreading and sometimes fearing the next decline in my husband‘s health. Would I be able to handle his next decline physically and emotionally?

In the book of Joshua in the Old Testament God's Old Testament people, the Israelites, were about to enter the land that God had promised them many years ago before. To be able to enter this new land, however, they needed to cross the Jordan River. The Jordan River was at flood stage at this time. A huge assembly of God's people had to cross the Jordan River. It would take a miracle for God's people to safely cross the Jordan River, but our Lord God specializes in the impossible.

The officers of God's people told them, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before." (Joshua 3:b-4a) The ark of the covenant was a symbol of the Lord's presence among them. Only if God's people did this would they "know which way to go," for this was new and foreign territory to them.

As a caregiver I too had “never been this way before." It was a scary place to be. So I also had to keep my eyes focused on the Lord, and I had to follow His leading. Each new day is a new day given to us by the hand of the Lord. When we awaken in the morning we do not know what new experiences or circumstances we may face that day. This is especially true for family caregivers. They too “have never been this way before."

Every day and moment of our lives is known and planned by the Lord, however. He knows and understands the joys and heartaches caregivers face today and in all the tomorrows which may lie ahead. Caregivers must trust that the Lord will safely lead them each and every day, as they keep their eyes focused on Him and follow Him. Before they crossed the Jordan River their leader Joshua told God’s Old Testament people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." (Joshua 3:5)

The Lord will do "amazing things" in our lives also, if we trust and follow Him. In Joshua 3 the waters did not divide while God's people were still in camp or even as they were marching towards the Jordan River. (Joshua 3:15b-16a) Only when the leaders and people stepped out into the water in faith were God's people able to safely cross the Jordan River! (Joshua 3:15b-16a)

As a caregiver I sometimes faced seemingly hopeless situations. Dear Caregiver, you too may sometimes feel hopeless and even desperate in your caregivng experience. At times like these commit your needs and desperate situations to the Lord. Like God’s Old Testament people step out in faith. Trust that the Lord will see you through the seemingly impossible Jordan Rivers of your life. The Lord has our lives in His control, and we can trust and follow His leading!


  1. Thank you Sharon for sharing this Old Testament story. It is such a hope filled encouragement to keep stepping out in faith. God is teaching me to trust Him through my "never been this way before" journey. I look forward to each of your posts and pray that you know just how much it blesses and honors the Lord and lifts the chin of each caregiver who reads what you write. Grace and peace to you always,

  2. Thank you once again for your kind comments,Judy. If sharing my thoughts and experiences can help a family caregiver, I am blessed. To keep stepping out in faith is sometimes difficult, but I praise God for your willingness to do so in caring for your loved one.