Sunday, February 23, 2014

Live in His Presence

Dear caregiver, it is so important to focus your attention on the Lord and not on the challenges and difficulties of family care-giving.  This is a lofty goal, but you are a frail human being.  The heartaches of care-giving will discourage you at times.  Don’t let those feelings of failure discourage you further, dear caregiver.  The Lord delights in you, and He delights in your attempts to focus on Him. 

Your weakness does not repel the Lord.  Quite the contrary, your weakness and yielded heart attracts the power of God.  Rejoice in your weakness, and let His light fill and strengthen you.  At the same time be submissive to His will.  Care-giving can be extremely emotionally draining and discouraging.  As you rest in Him and trust in the Lord, however, you find His peace.

Dear caregiver, when another discouraging event or downward turn occurs in your loved one’s life for whom you are caring, use that as reminder to depend on the Lord.  Use that event as a reminder to communicate with the Lord.  In this way your relationship with the Lord will be strengthened, and you will be able to find joy even in the midst of the heartaches.

Seek to walk peacefully with the Lord throughout each day.  Do this one step at a time depending on the Lord.  Do not look too far into the future.  Instead keep you mind on the Lord and His presence.  Trust that the Lord knows what He is doing even in the chaos of family care-giving, and follow Him.

Look back on your life, dear caregiver.  The Lord has helped you and been faithful to you in the past.  You may think, “But that was then, and this is now.  The challenges of care-giving are more difficult than anything else I have ever experienced.  They are more than my ability to cope.”  Remember, however, dear caregiver, that the Lord and His power remains the same.  He is always with you.  Keep looking to Him!  When the worries about the day and the days ahead hit disarm those worries by remembering that the power and light of God’s presence is with you each step of the way.  Focus your entire attention on His living presence.   


Sunday, February 16, 2014

His Higher Thoughts

I wrote this following devotional for another blog site a few months after discovering that my husband had an incurable and rare neurological disease which eventually took his life. Dear Christian caregiver, I pray the words of Isaiah 55 in the Bible may prove a blessing to you; as they did to me that day:

Recently my husband was diagnosed with a serious neurological disease. Hence, this has been a very difficult couple of months for us. This along with a number of other events in our lives has made this summer a very stressful summer.

A few days ago I was reading Isaiah 55 again and found some very comforting words. Jesus says to you and me in times of trial and fear, 'Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.' (Isaiah 55:1a) The Lord wants to pour His love and grace on us in abundance. Isaiah goes on to say in Isaiah 55:2-3, 'Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy. Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.' The Lord in effect is saying to you and me, 'Why spend your energies and attention on the things of this earth which do not satisfy? Why depend on the resources of this world for your protection and help?'  The Lord goes on to tell us to revel and delight in His blessings. He wants us to do this, because He promises 'the richest of fare.' (Isaiah 55:2b) This is because His covenant with us is everlasting, and His love to us is unconditionally faithful!

My response to the Lord's grace must be to seek Him with all my heart. I must seek Him with a repentant heart and a passionate heart. I must also seek Him with a heart that is submissive to His will and with a heart that trusts Him. I must not question Him as to the reason for the trials in my life. He sees the big picture. I do not.

The Lord says to you and me, 'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.' (Isaiah 55:8-9) The Lord goes on to say to you and me in Isaiah 55:11b, 'I will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.'

God's purpose will prevail in this world. God's purpose will prevail in my life. God's purpose will prevail in all His people's lives. It is difficult sometimes when going through deep trials to see God's purpose and plan, but His promise to you and me is 'You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.-----Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers they myrtle will grow.' (Isaiah 55:12-13)”

Dear caregiver, you may not understand why God has allowed the illness or disability of your loved one for whom you are caring. I know it was difficult for me to understand why God allowed my husband's disabling disease. Yet we can trust that God is a God of love. We can trust that He is a God whose thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways. Trust Him, dear caregiver! Passionately seek Him and rely on Him!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Your Lord as Your Divine Valentine

(This is part of a blog post that I wrote a year ago. I think it's message is worth repeating again, as we approach another Valentine's day.)

Dear Caregiver, do you ever feel the sorrow of things lost? Do you ever miss the way things were in the past with your loved one for whom you are caring? Does the approach of holidays such as Valentine’s day make you feel melancholy and sad?

During those moments of sadness remember that the Lord loves you with an infinite love. He in effect is your Divine Valentine. He is sufficient. He alone can give you all that you need. Below is a poem called Your Divine Valentine:

Your Divine Valentine

A Valentine may play a love song for you, but God sings you the sweetest love song in the universe. (Zephaniah 3:17)

A Valentine may give you flowers, but God sent you the most beautiful rose of all, Jesus. (Song of Solomon 2:1)

A Valentine may bring you chocolate, but God provides you with something even sweeter, His Word. (Psalm 119:103)

A Valentine may love you for a lifetime, but God loved you before you were born and will love you for all eternity. (Jeremiah 31:3)

I am praying, dear Christian caregiver that you are blessed by the wonderful love of God this Valentine's Day and always! Be sure to check out the Bible references so you can unwrap evidences of God’s wonderful love for you.