Thursday, July 23, 2015

I Can do "All" Things?

Caregiving is one of the hardest things I've ever done; and I've done a lot of "above average" things. I have started and ran my own freelance business, taught junior high math, hiked 10 mile wilderness trails and run a marathon. I also got rid of all my stuff at one point and picked up and moved half way across the country all by myself to stay with people I had never met. But as I read this familiar scripture one more time, it didn't seem to fit exactly like it did before.
In Philippians 4:13 Paul says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Paul wrote it while sitting in jail. He wrote it to encourage the Philippians. What did he really mean?

If we look at it contextually, it might not mean what we thought. We've used it for every tight spot in life and for an encouragement to get things done that we thought we couldn't do. While that might not be a bad thing, it doesn't seem to be the context of the verse.

Looking at the entire passage we will see that Paul is talking about being content. He's not really talking about doing.  In the preceding verse the apostle is speaking of having plenty and doing without. He was discussing learning a great lesson - that God is the same no matter what our situation is; and we can make it through any circumstances because Christ is in us strengthening us for the journey.

For the caregiver this means we can make it whether our friends walk it with us or not, whether we are in or out of a local church, and whether or not we have sleep. That's important to the caregiver - and many times it is a basic need we lack. No matter what a day or night throws our way - we have to learn to be content with it. It will make things go much smoother.

When my son was injured and I was catching a flight from Chicago back to Shreveport to be with him, I was stopped by security. I was targeted because I had one carry on bag, bought a one way ticket and purchased it just a couple hours prior to the flight.Not only did they thoroughly search me, they took everything out of my bag and spread it all out to ensure I didn't have any explosives. I was really in a state of shock or I might not have been so patient. They actually thanked me for my patience. Without even thinking I looked up and said, "Would it have made it go any faster had I been impatient?" They laughed and said, "not really." I told them with tears in my eyes that I was just trying to get to my son. They understood.

We can be as content or un-content as we want and it will not make the caregiving journey any easier. It's important to learn to deal with it the best we can, and be content in Him. Then we will find that we have the strength to endure. We will find that we can do all things through Christ as He gives us His strength for the journey.

Today I will meditate on His strength in me. I will think about being content with the journey; and being content with Him no matter where I am on the journey. My thoughts will be on the truth that in an ever changing situation, He remains constant. No matter what life throws at me today - He is still faithful. I'm content with that. Will you join me?


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