Monday, November 4, 2013

Take Courage

Perhaps you remember as a child being afraid of thunder and lightening.  Maybe you have experienced fear in the midst of a tornado or a hurricane.  There are also other kind of storms in life.  When the circumstances in our lives are of such a nature that everything in our lives seems to be crashing down around us we are also experiencing a storm.  Difficult trials or storms in our lives are never something we enjoy.

Care-giving for a loved one with a terminal and long-time illness is one of those storms.  I so remember the stress and the heartache of caring for my husband who had a rare and devastating neurological disease.  God, however, often allows these trials or storms in our lives to stretch our faith, and He is always with us in those storms.

In Matthew 14 in the Bible Jesus sent His disciples out into a boat to cross to the other side of the lake.  Meanwhile a fierce storm arose on the lake.  Even though they were in the midst of this storm and thought they were alone without Jesus' help Jesus was still with them.  Jesus saw the difficulties they were experiencing.

Jesus is also with us in the storms and trials of life.  The Lord is with us even during the times when we feel all alone!  He is with you, dear caregiver, when you feel so overwhelmed in your care-giving role that you do not think you can go on one more day.

In the story in Matthew 14 Jesus came walking out on the lake to the disciples!  Jesus said to the disciples, "Take courage!  It is I.  Don't be afraid."  Jesus in effect said, "Cheer up! I am more than a match for any storm, so do not be afraid!"  Then Peter one of Jesus' disciples, said to Jesus, "Lord, if it's You---tell me to come to You on the water."  Jesus told Peter to come to Him on the water.  When Peter stepped out in faith and kept his eyes focused on Jesus, Peter actually walked on water!  However, then Peter took his eyes off the Lord Jesus and looked at the waves and storm around him.  Peter became afraid and began to sink when he took his eyes off the Lord and focused them on the storm around him.  Jesus stretched out His hand and caught Peter and said, "You of little faith,---why do you doubt?" 

As we experience storms and trials in our lives we also have a choice to make.  We can either be overcome with doubt and fears, or we can keep our eyes focused on the Lord and trust Him to be with us in the storms.

Dear Christian caregiver, trust the Lord to be with you through the storms of care-giving.  Trust the Lord to calm the storms and be with you in the storms.  Then you will be able to walk triumphantly over the angry waves of the storms and trials!  Our Lord is faithful, and He will be with us through every storm.  Focus on the Lord.  He alone can calm every storm and fear.

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