Being a caregiver for a loved one with every declining health can be a huge burden. I know because I lived that reality as my husband's caregiver for over four and a half years. I loved my husband and was dedicated to him, but the worries and burdens were heavy at times.
Yet God wants caregivers and all who are carrying heavy burdens to realize that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10b). We sometimes think our burdens in life are heavier than other people's burdens. Yet every person is carrying a burden whether they are a caregiver or are not. Having said that I know that your burden is very heavy at times, dear caregiver. Know, however, that the Lord, your Caregiver, loves you and understands the burden you are carrying. There is no burden we carry that He does not understand, because He suffered the ultimate burden of the cross to pay for our sins.
Scripture says that because of the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). He knew the horrors of the cross would win His people's salvation and His return to Heaven and the Father. So this too gives us the ability through Him to endure and not grow weary.
It also gives us the ability to experience joy even in the midst of heartache and challenges. This is because joy is not the same thing as happiness which is dependent on perfect circumstances. Circumstances can change and temporarily ruffle us. Yet true joy is permanent and internal, because it is based on the cross and our trust in the Lord. It is based on the fact that we know that this life is very temporary, and a perfect eternity lies ahead of us. It is further based on God's Holy Spirit living in us.
In spite of this we all become discouraged at times. That is why we need to spend time in God's Word every day. Psalm 19 says that God's Word revives our soul, makes us wise, gives us joy, and gives us light or perspective. God's Word is perfect, trustworthy, always right, and pure. The Word of God is the most precious thing imaginable.
In order to experience these blessings we must spend time in His Word, however, Family care-giving can be immensely challenging and overwhelming. So can all of life. It is easy to be like Martha in Luke 10:41 in the Bible who was "worried and upset about many things." Jesus reminds her, however, in the following verse that only one thing is needed. That one thing is to spend time in God's Word. I know, dear caregiver, that you are very busy. Yet spending time in God's Word is vital. It is vital to your joy even in the overwhelming moments.