Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Tapestry of Our Lives

 (This week's post is a chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  It is also a repeat of another post that I published about a year ago.)

Romans 8:28 in the Bible promises us that in both the pleasant circumstances and in the tragic circumstances of life, God is working for our good.  It is a blessed promise.  We can rest in that promise and trust in it when the world around us seems to be falling apart, but it is also a promise with which we may at times struggle.

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?  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 care-giving, and I 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 care-giving, 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 result 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 in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions (Romans 8:29). 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 often have to go through the heat of trials and difficulties to become more conformed to the likeness of Jesus. 

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!

(If you would like to order my book for yourself or someone you love, you can find it at Amazon.  The name of the book is Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers. The address for the Amazon link to my book is found on the right hand side of this post about half way down on my blog page.  Just click on it.

My book is also available at Barnes and Noble online and elsewhere online.  I have even seen it on Wal-Mart online!  You can also email me at for specifics of ordering directly from me.)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Used of God

For many years I was my first husband's caregiver.  Those who have followed my blog the last years or have purchased my book, know the story of my journey as my first husband's caregiver.  You also know of his death in early 2011.

This week especially but also in the weeks and months before that I have been a part of another kind of caregiving experience.  This week has been a week that has been very emotionally draining.  It has been a time when I have needed to give emotional, spiritual, and physical help to someone who is very dear to my heart.  What I have learned through my past caregiving experiences and because of the time I have spent in God's Word has proven very beneficial in this endeavor.

So if you are going through a difficult caregiving experience, or you are in the midst of another trial of some kind; trust that God is using those experiences to refine you and make you more like Jesus.  Those experiences are also making you better able to help someone else in the days ahead.  It is equipping you to be the hands and feet of Jesus in that person's life.  In the meantime, pray for me as I pray for you.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

God, My Portion Forever

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Psalm 73:21-26.  After lamenting earlier in the Psalm about difficult situations all around him, the psalmist in this passage finally comes into the presence of God (verses 16-17)  When coming into the presence of the Lord, he gains a new perspective.  He begins to see things from God's perspective.

The psalmist begins to see that God never gets away from us.  He is our security (verses 23-26).  He is all we need or want both on earth and in heaven.  He is our portion forever (verses 25-26).  We need to  begin to seek intimacy with Him now here on earth (verse 28).  What is even better, Eternity is ahead of us when all our wounds will be healed and our questions will be answered.  He alone is our ultimate source of peace and joy.  Let's rejoice in that glorious truth.

Here are the beautiful words of Psalm 73:21-26.  Revel in the wonder of the words when you are feeling overwhelmed by life circumstances:

21 When my heart was grieved
    and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
    I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Beyond the Weariness

 Do you ever feel overwhelmed with or weary from a situation or circumstance in your life?  Perhaps you are the caregiver for a loved one which requires much of your time or energy.  Perhaps you have a situation at work which is overwhelming.  Perhaps, like me, you have a family member who is requiring much encouraging and counseling, and you find this emotionally draining.  Perhaps you have yet another very difficult situation in your life, and you feel weary with it all.  

Yet you can know that God has placed you exactly where He wants you to be at this moment.  He wants you to be a tool in His hands for the benefit of someone else.  So you and I must stay the course and persevere in what God had called us to do.  This task that God has called us to do may only be something we can fulfill through God's strength and will.  We can also pray for each other, as we persevere in the tasks God has given us.  I ask for such prayers from you.