Monday, September 26, 2011

Daily Devotions for Caregivers: Fear Not - You Worm...?

Daily Devotions for Caregivers: Fear Not - You Worm...?: I was reading along this morning and found a great scripture that contains a wonderful piece of instruction to Jacob: fear not. I let my ey...

Fear Not - You Worm...?

I was reading along this morning and found a great scripture that contains a wonderful piece of instruction to Jacob: fear not. I let my eyes rest on those two little words for a few seconds as I thought about how many fears I face almost every day. (I'm afraid I'll do something wrong while caring for my son, afraid I am not stretching him enough, afraid I'll drop him, afraid I won't stay on top of my growing work load, afraid I'll gain more weight, afraid I won't get to run soon enough....got the idea? 'cause I can go on!!)

 Fear not. Simple, but complex, isn't it? It's easy to say - but difficult to do. Just help me find the button to turn my thoughts off for a minute and maybe I can shut down the fears that come with the situation. I really don't think it's the deepest sense of the word, fear. Sometimes it's healthy to be afraid. Like when you are going to cross the road on foot and there is traffic. It's actually a good thing to be afraid of stepping out in front of a truck! And these lower level nagging fears are not like being consumed with an abnormal fear of what some would call silly things. It's okay to have the sort of fear that brings you some concern. We pay better attention to life that way.

 But here in Isaiah 41:14 - God speaks directly to Jacob (who's been dead for years) through Isaiah the prophet when He says, "Fear not, you worm Jacob." Yeah, I know - I read it several times and in several different versions but they all say "you worm" too.I mean, how low can you go? lol!

 I really don't have some deep theological interpretation for this...honestly, I don't have a clue! But here's what I think about this phrase. It is a stark reminder that He is God...and we are not. And since He is God (and we are not) we do not have to fear from our low position. Just humbly give ourselves to Him again today....then fear not.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In the Seeking...

Caregiving is an endless job and it does not take long to feel safely isolated away from the rest of the world. There seems to be times that I want to withdraw on purpose and live safely in my cave. Some of those times can be a good thing, allowing me to gather my thoughts and emotions so that I do not explode on anyone negatively should I have contact with the "outside world."

 But there always comes the times to emerge...it's almost like a fresh new start on a very strange level. There are times the isolation of caregivers is good and there are times that the world is a real place for us once again. Either place can be the right place for the moment, neither to be totally embraced, or ignored. No matter which extreme we seem to be living in - or anywhere in between - there's a continual longing, or seeking for Him....waiting for Him to show up one more time...

 David said in Psalm 63:1   
O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek you; 
my soul thirsts for You; 
my flesh faints for You,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 
So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary
beholding Your power and glory.
Because Your steadfast love is better than life
my lips will praise You.
As caregivers, most of the time we do not get to go to what most consider the "sanctuary." This is when we must remember that we are His sanctuary. We do not have to go anywhere to meet with Him or see His glory displayed. He is alive in us and we take him wherever we go...He's in the cave with us in isolation; and He is also with us when we emerge for a time.

 This brings a comfort to me this morning...to know that even when I feel recluse - He is still here. So if you are thirsty for Him today - simply look to Him and be thankful that we do not have to "go" anywhere to experience the touch of His presence. He cannot leave us....Where would He go?...He's everywhere!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Small Comfort at Last

Please forgive me for being so lax on doing this devotional. I needed help myself for a few weeks. I know you are most likely very familiar with what I call the "caregiver's fog." It can sweep you up and suck you down and leave you in a state of nothingness for days on end. It can fry your emotions and leave you scratching your head barely making it through each grueling day beneath its pressure.But alas...I am finally emerging. I will try to do a better job at keeping my head above and completing this task. My purpose really is to encourage but quite honestly I just have not had it in me! But I'm back now!!

 I think what helped me start the difficult dig out of the hole was the other day someone made mention of a particular scripture and I began talking about it. I was so stirred up it got me to thinking about it and many others on the topic. One thing I have tried to do is to begin to read the scriptures without my old religious thinking...it's very difficult I must say. We've been taught what to think for far too long!

 As I thought about the Word I got all stirred up inside. Then I thought of Psalm 1119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction; that your Word quickens me. I realized no matter what I really am not looking for any help, or any answers outside of His word. No matter how far away He feels to me I still only want His answers for all the dreams I used to have, the wasted years, and the huge whys. The fact that I can still get so stirred up over a scripture lets me know that even though I feel very dead right now - He is alive in me somewhere in there....and that is comforting to me today. So be comforted - He is still Here!