Thursday, February 12, 2015

Do I have to Choose?

This morning I had a couple of scriptures on my mind as I puttered about and got my tutoring done early. The one from 1 Thessalonians 5:23 is still fresh on my mind: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely and may your whole body, soul and spirit be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  There are only about 3 or 4 times when Paul uses the phrase God of peace. He uses it here and in Romans a couple of times. And of course, Isaiah says that He is the Prince of Peace.

We have the God of peace or the Prince of Peace living right inside of us. Now that hits me as just a little bit funny since the caregiver's daily life can resemble just about anything but peace. I don't know if it's ever not hectic! I would probably use just about any word to describe daily activities - except peaceful. While each caregiver's journey differs, my days are filled with constant activities like laundry, cooking and pureeing foods, straightening the house (this really doesn't happen all that often!), talking to various health care professionals, feeding, changing, bathing, transferring, providing stimuli (without providing too much), designing and doing therapeutic activities (standing frame, puzzles, range of motion) and whew! I'm tired already. And I haven't even touched the things we have to do to keep ourselves sane and happy. It can become quite the circus.

So after I think about how He is the God of peace in my own life - my thoughts shift to another scripture. In Romans 15:13 Paul says this: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This scripture has been I have meditated on for years. I guess I just love the thought of this God of hope filling me with joy and peace so that I have more hope in Him.

We can see He is the God of peace and  hope. Do I ever have to choose between hope and peace? It seems more like a package deal. We get all of Him when His Spirit resides in us as believers. So it seems that all of His hope and peace would be there as well. I do not have to choose between hope and peace - I get the full package deal! He fills us with His hope - AND He fills us with His peace. I think that's a pretty powerful combination and I can use an extra supply of both.

God does not give us just parts of Himself - He fills us up with all He is. There isn't a junior Holy Spirit for kids; or a senior Holy Spirit for the elderly. There is no "special editions" for special cases like caregivers. We get Holy Spirit working in our lives and He will continue to work to the degree we yield to Him - no matter what situation we are in. Ephesians 3:16 says that we are strengthened in our inner man - just by Him being present  in us.

Today I will be thankful that I get the full package deal and that the Spirit of God is at work in me - even in my situation. I will meditate on the truth that He comes with peace and  hope and I don't have to choose between the two. I will purposefully yield myself to Him and allow God to work in my life today -- and be strengthened by the truth that He still works in me - the caregiver. Will you join me?

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