Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Thankful Heart

(The below blog post is a repeat of a post I previously published at this blog at this time of year.  I hope it will prove to be a blessing to you again.  I will not be posting here next week. The next new post will be on or around December 3.  Use this time to read some of my older posts here at Christian Care-giving.  You can also check out my other blog, a devotional blog here: )

Family care-giving can be very discouraging especially when one's love one continues to deteriorate in his or her health.  It is difficult to find things for which to be thankful in such a scenario.  It seems impossible to have a thankful heart under such circumstances.

Yet a thankful heart opens up blessings from heaven and foretastes of heaven that cannot be attained in any other way.  A thankful heart further revives hope and allows us to communicate on a more intimate level with the Lord.  A thankful heart does not deny the reality of life's challenges, and care-giving certainly presents a host of problems and heartaches.  A thankful heart does, however, recognize the Lord's presence and joy in the midst of those problems.

So perhaps the best place to start, dear caregiver, is to thank the Lord each day for His presence and peace.  Also as you go through the day look for even the Lord's tiny treasures which He has placed on your path.  Look with spiritual eyes for His wonders in your life.  I have mentioned this before but I remember as a caregiver being challenged to write down each day at least three things for which I was thankful that day.  That helped me immensely in persevering in the care-giving role.

It is said that a thankful heart takes the sting out of trials and adversity.  Family care-giving often facilitates many challenges and trials.  Yet we are commanded in the Bible to give thanks in everything.  We may not always FEEL like giving thanks, but when we offer a SACRIFICE of thanks in spite of our feelings or circumstances, God gives us joy in spite of our circumstances.

That does not mean we always feel happy.  Happiness and joy are not the same thing, but joy in the Lord and grief can coexist.  It may seem nonsensical to thank God in and for difficult circumstances. Yet in the measure that we do so we will be blessed, even though the adversities may remain.  Dear caregiver, thank the Lord today for His blessings!

In the United States we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day this week.  It is a day when we especially try to remember to thank and praise God for the blessings of the past year.  Care-giving is often challenging and difficult.  Yet there are many blessings in our lives even in the most difficult of moments.  Dear caregiver, thank the Lord for your blessings daily and not just on special occasions. It will lift your burdens and add joy to your life.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lift Up Your Eyes

I remember how easy it was for me as a caregiver for my husband to get bogged down with the challenges instead of focusing on the blessings still remaining in my life and instead of focusing on the Lord for my help.  Whether it be care-giving or some other challenge in life we need to set our eyes on the Lord and on our blessings. It will do much to lift our spirits.

Recently I ran across Psalm 123 in the Old Testament of the Bible in my morning devotions.  Here are some of the words from that beautiful Psalm with comments I found in the margins of my Bible in between in parenthesis:

"I lift up my eyes to You, to You  whose throne is in heaven. (I look to God and off myself and my circumstances.)---As the eyes of a maid looks to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God. (Be looking to the Lord with not an occasional glance but with an intense looking. Wait on the Lord.)  Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for we have endured much---"
( I can't take it anymore, Lord.  Help me.)

Care-giving and life in general can sometimes overwhelm us, but God is stronger than any of our circumstances.  As we look to Him for strength, He will help us and bless us.  The last verse of Psalm 124 says, "Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."  You have been given a noble but sometimes challenging race to run, dear caregiver.  Hebrews 12:1b in the New Testament of the Bible tells us to "run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  Whether it be family care-giving or some other challenge, that can be difficult to do.  But the secret to that according to Hebrews 12:2 is to "fix our eyes on Jesus."  Don't look back to past mistakes.  Don't look ahead to the future in fear, but look up to the Lord.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

God's Lessons Illustrated in London

A little over a year ago I was in London visiting my son's family there.  While I was there God laid on my heart once again the need to trust the Lord's leading and the need to thank Him for His guidance and overwhelming love. I had to begin to learn that lesson when I was my husband's caregiver; and I need to continue to learn that lesson, as I seek to walk the walk of faith today.

So today I am bringing back a post I wrote about a year ago right after my return home from London.  Just click on the link below to read it.  May the Lord bless you in all that you do, dear caregiver!