Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sometimes I Feel Two-Faced!

As a caregiver life can be ambiguous in that we are certain that we are uncertain. But this week in my studies I found that we are in very good company.I frequently read Psalm 119 as I find it very encouraging and it always points my heart back to His word. This week a couple of  verses in particular caught my attention.

In verses 27 and 28 (NLT) the psalmist has that sort of ambiguous tone. The end of verse 27 states I will meditate on your wonderful miracles; but the very next verse starts with I weep with grief...And of course true to David's nature he has these two phrases sandwiched between thoughts about the Word.

I found that sometimes this oddity describes the way we can feel. On the one hand, we are so thankful for all that God has done.We have done several devotions about being thankful in the midst of our furnace where we take time to purposefully find things (some days are more difficult than others) to thank Him for. Thankful for small progresses or that the aide actually showed up; perhaps long awaited supplies finally arrived, or just thankful that He gave us breath and strength to face another day.

And then in the next moment we may be weeping with grief over the situation or out of compassion for our suffering loved one. When I find passages like this one, it helps me feel at least like I am somewhat normal. It's okay to thank Him with one breath and wonder what's going on with the next - it's the nature of the situation.But our final answer lies a couple of verses further down.

Verse 30 says: I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by Your laws.Today let us determine to walk in His word no matter what our circumstances look like. Even in those ambiguous moments where we feel joy and grief at the same time - let us turn to His word for our comfort.  Let us recall that He is walking through this furnace with us so we will not lose heart.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

An Old Familiar Psalm

It is very important for caregivers to try to find the positive things to rejoice in each day. We can rejoice in any small improvement in our loved one we are caring for, be glad the aide actually showed up to help, rejoice that at least the few necessities that are provided and covered by insurance showed up, or be thankful for a call or visit from a friend. Although the battle can be difficult, small things can help lighten our load on many days.

There are those days where we just struggle - with everything. And some days we just get through. After a series of days, weeks, months of just trying to get through yesterday one of my favorite worship leaders posted a new song he had written. It is called, "When I Worship You." It was the song of the day for sure. I played it over and over. It's on the front page of his website if you want to check it out: www.dennisjernigan.com

The phrase that stuck out to me yesterday was about Him being with me. Somehow that simple thought not only stuck with me, but really helped carry me through the day. It reminded me of a very familiar psalm. Psalm 23 contains a verse that says, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me. (That's old KJV there!) He is the constant in my fluctuating day-to-day life. No matter how dark, or how light the valley grows - He is with me. I may be crying one minute and laughing the next, good news with one phone call and bad with the next - but He is with me.

Today just meditate on the fact that He has not left us in the storm. He is the only constant in our lives and He chooses to stay with us. A phrase in one of my favorite choruses says:

 I can't comprehend His vast presence 
as heaven and earth He does fill
Yet His choice of habitation
is in a heart that is still...
Today, let us remember that He will not leave us unarmed, or alone. He is walking through this furnace with us...and if you get a chance go watch that video by DJ. It's the worship song of the day!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Who's Tired?

It can be the same day-in and day-out for caregivers. There are generally a lot of comments on Facebook on Friday's about being glad it's the "weekend," and on Monday's you see all the posts about how horrid Monday's are. But for the caregiver it really means nothing most of the time as most days are the same; over and over and over again! Do you ever just get tired? (Of course I ask this knowing that we do!) For me it is comforting to know that He never gets tired.

Right now in my very small circle of friends I know people who are in pain, a family who lost 2 family members in a day - one was their son, a bicyclist who was run over by a car this weekend, a person with a brain tumor, people with cancer, and that's just the beginning. The sad part is there are not many "church" people reaching out to these in pain. Why? As a general rule they are good at lending a hand in an emergency - but there is no endurance for the long hauls that many people find themselves in. I am so glad that God does not get tired!

Isaiah 40:27-28 says this in the New Living Translation: O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? Have you never heard or understood? don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. As I read this today while bearing all my friends and acquaintances before Him, I saw this in a totally different way.

I had always thought of the term "everlasting" to mean the Forever God; and of course it is. But for me today it meant something special...that He has the grits and the guts to keep going with us through our trials. He can out last it - He has what it takes. And the other part was about the depths of His understanding. I know it means in essence that we can't measure how deep His understanding is in light of creation...but I believe it is correct in context to state the He understands us far more than we give Him credit for. He is not some distant God standing afar off wondering what we are going to do with life. He is near. He is not tired and He really does understand us.

Today let these thoughts comfort you. Allow Him to understand your situation. He probably understands it better than you do! Allow Him to be your strength today. He is alive! He is near! He is energetic and full of understanding...and He won't give out on the journey!