Monday, October 28, 2013

More Than You Can Handle?

It is a popular saying among Christians that God will not give us more than we can handle.  This is really a misconception, however, based on an incorrect interpretation of I Corinthians 10:13.  That verse is talking about temptation in our lives.  When we are tempted God will always provide a means of escape. 

Suffering and trials, however, often are beyond our ability to handle by OURSELVES.  During my care-giving days I remember often feeling and even verbalizing more than once that I could not do this care-giving role any longer.  I felt I was at the end of my rope. 

The truth of the matter is that this was a good place to be.  It is good to recognize that we can not handle anything let alone the overwhelming challenges of care-giving by ourselves.  This teaches us that God is our strength giver and that we need to be totally dependent on Him.  We can do anything He asks of us including family care-giving in HIS strength.  It also teaches us that we need to body of Christ to help us along the way.

Click the link below, dear caregiver.  The article talks about this very thing.  I think you will find it to be a blessing.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Never Separated From Christ's Love

Sometimes the future can seem so uncertain and fearful to a caregiver of a loved one with a terminal illness. As a caregiver I remember having such fears. As children of God, however, we have victory in Christ Jesus, our Lord! We need to fear nothing, for the Lord is on our side! Nothing can separate us from the love of God! What an awesome thought, and what an awesome promise! In light of all this there can be overflowing joy in our hearts!

We are secure in Christ for time and for eternity. Sometimes we may feel as if everything is against us, but the Word of God teaches us that the great God of the universe is always for us and is always with us! Romans 8:31-32) God proved His love for us by sending His only Son to die for our sins. Surely we can trust Him to provide us with everything we need for time and eternity. In the uncertainties of life Christian caregivers can rest in the Lord. They have the Lord God on their side, and they are victors in Him!

Nothing will happen to us that is not in God's plan for our lives, so we need not fear. Finally, Christ is always interceding for His children before God the Father! He is interceding for you dear Christian caregiver! He knows your heartaches, your challenges, and your fears; and He is praying for you! What a blessed promise!

In light of all this, what set of circumstances can ever separate you from the love of Christ, dear, Christian caregiver? (Romans 8:35a) The answer is that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ! No matter what hardship, trials or heartaches you may be experiencing in your life at the moment, dear caregiver, you are never separated from the love of Christ.

In fact, trials in our lives are part of God's plan and purpose for our lives to mold us to become more like Jesus in our character and attitudes. You are not separated from God’s love by the heartaches of care-giving. Rather the Lord is with you in a special way guiding and comforting you.

What is more Romans 8:37 teaches you that you are more than a conqueror! You become a conqueror through the trials of care-giving by patiently enduring these trials and by being submissive to the Lord's will. You become more than a conqueror by using these experiences to grow in your love and service for the Lord.

God always see us through difficult times and brings us to ultimate victory. He will do the same for you, dear Christian caregiver. Victory is always assured for the Christian if not in this life, then in eternity. Your loved one may be healed on this earth, or he or she may be healed in eternity. There will be victory for your loved one either way. There will be victory for you too, dear caregiver. If your loved one goes to live with the Lord, you may feel as if your life has been shattered in a million pieces, but God will bring ultimate victory and peace for you also.

Absolutely nothing will ever separate us from the love of God and the victory we have in the Lord Jesus Christ! (Romans 8:38-39) Praise the name of the Lord for our victory in Him!

Monday, October 14, 2013

God Understands

A disability or long term illness obviously often affects the person experiencing it in devastating ways. We need to remember, however, that those problems affect not only the person with the illness or disability, but it affects the entire family and anyone else who is close to that individual. They as well as the individual with the disease or disability live with the consequences of that disease or disability.

Dear Christian caregiver, do you ever struggle in your ability to connect with God and with really believing that God understands all the problems in your family? Do you ever feel hopeless? If that is the case, tell God your honest feelings. The important thing is that you turn towards God and not away from God in your moments of despair.

When you turn to God in honest prayer God will answer. When you voice your heartaches and fears to the Lord He listens. You may almost hear God whisper to you, “I do understand your heartache, because I sent My Son to come to earth to live as a human on this earth. His entire life on earth was one of sorrow and grief and of lifelong pain and tears. He left a perfect place in heaven with Me, God the Father, and freely lived a life of suffering on this earth.”

Dear Christian caregiver, God does understand. Freely open your hurting heart to the Lord. There is something about talking with a God, who has seen His own His own Son suffer, that will comfort your heart. God knows and understands your heartaches and challenges, dear caregiver. God the Father watched His Son, Jesus Christ, live His entire life bearing the weight of very painful and earth bound limitations. Knowing that, dear caregiver, is what can draw you much closer to the Lord for His help.

On another note I have noticed that online resources to help family caregivers are limited. I certainly found this to be true when a caregiver. I am going to include a few links below that may be of some help or resource to you, however. The top two on the list are not Christian web sites but you still may find them helpful. The first one especially was helpful to me when I was a caregiver:

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Tapestry of Our Lives

There is a verse in Romans 8 in the Bible which in effect says that God in all things of life works for the good of those who love Him. It is saying that in both the things we consider good and in the tragic things of life He is working for our good. This promise in Romans 8:28 is a promise we can rest on and trust in when our world around us seems to be falling apart. It is a blessed promise, but it is also a promise with which we may at times struggle. We can believe and trust this promise, however, even when we are overwhelmed and puzzled by adverse circumstances all around us.

I remembers first struggling with the promise of Romans 8:28 when my dad was suffering the excruciating pain of cancer and radiation. I wondered how "all things" could possibly be working for good in this case. What could possibly be good about cancer and severe pain? For that matter what could possibly be "good" about any pain or heartache or trial? It is also something I pondered when my husband was diagnosed with a devastating neurological disease. It was something I thought about when I was struggling with the challenges of caregiving, and saw the effects my husband’s disease was having on his body. It was something I was confused about when my husband passed away four and a half years later.

The key to understanding this verse is to realize that not all things are good in themselves. Sin has wracked havoc with our world, and there are many experiences in this world that are not good or pleasant in themselves. God, however, works both the "good" and the "bad" events of our lives together for our ultimate good.

It has been said that life is like a tapestry. When you look at the backside of a tapestry it does not look beautiful. There are knotted off ends and threads that seem to have no meaning or beauty. When one turns the tapestry over, however, one sees a beautiful picture or design.

Dear caregiver, when you see the difficulties and heartaches of caregiving you are seeing only the backside of the tapestry of life. God, however, is bringing all the threads or events of our lives together, both the good and bad, into a beautiful tapestry. The Lord already sees the top part of our tapestry of life. The Lord already sees the beautiful end results of what He is accomplishing in our lives. When we do not understand the reason for the difficult circumstances in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones we must simply trust that the Lord is working out all things in our lives for His glory and to accomplish His plan. He is also working out all things for our ultimate spiritual good.

The ultimate spiritual good that the Lord God is seeking to accomplish in our lives is that we might become more like Jesus. (Romans 8:29)  He desires that we become more like the Lord Jesus every day in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. In order for this to happen there must be a conforming process taking place in our lives. This conforming process often can only occur during times of trial and difficulty in our lives. Gelatin is only able to be conformed or shaped to the mold into which it is placed after it has been dissolved in hot water. So we too often have to go through the heat of trials and difficulties to become more conformed to the image or likeness of Jesus Christ. God has the pattern for our lives all figured out. He knows and understands the beautiful tapestry that He is weaving for our lives. He knows the beginning from the end. We must trust the Lord to do His beautiful work in our lives even in times when life's events and circumstances seem very difficult and overwhelming!