Caregiving comes as seasons in our lives. At times, your season of caregiving can feel long and lonely, but as Christians we can always be assured of the fact that God doesn’t change like the seasons; He never fails us, never leaves us stranded, never abandons us or allows us to be burdened with more than we can bear. The saying, “God is good all the time” is true, and as a family caregiver you can lean fully into that truth.
For the Christian caregiver, caregiving is a responsibility that finds its foundation and center in prayer. Prayer frames the responsibility of caregiving and supports every aspect of the caregiver’s life. Prayer gives us strength when we feel weak, it cushions us when we fall, it lifts us when we rise again, and it illuminates our path as we continue to push ahead in our season of caregiving. Daily prayer time is essential to maintaining balance and cultivating creativity as we answer our caregiver calling.
The structure of caregiving is found in the promises and assurances expressed in Scripture. The Bible is filled with words of wisdom, encouragement, strength, and hope. Some of its promises are spoken by the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament. Other assurances are found in the words of Jesus, the disciples, and other New Testament authors who wrote letters of encouragement, edification and direction to the early Church. One of the beautiful mysteries of God’s Word is that while men wrote these documents, God inspired their thoughts and phrases in such as way that they are not static words on a page; these truths still live today and when applied to our experiences and struggles they breathe new life into each one of us, supplying the strength, support, and hope we need for the days, weeks, or months ahead.
Caregiving’s fulfillment lies in Christian fellowship, worship and praise opportunities shared with those you care for. Much joy can be found in singing hymns or praise choruses, studying scripture together, praying and discussing God’s love and activity in your individual lives as well as the time you share together. Putting scripture verses in visible places around the house can give you encouragement and support when you are struggling through a difficult day.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5) or Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10) are great verses that remind us God is with us and we can lean into Him when we don’t know what to do next. I Corinthians 1:4 reminds us that God “…comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Grab your Bible and look up your favorite verses about God’s presence, strength, endurance, comfort, or any other words that have meaning for you as a family caregiver. If you don’t have great handwriting, choose a pretty font on your computer and print out the verses. Ask a friend (or child or grandchild) to help with this task; it’s another way to involve your support network. These constantly visible scriptural reminders of God’s constancy and goodness can get you over many seemingly insurmountable caregiving hurdles.
Chris and I hope you’ll join us this week at Heart of the Caregiver and share your heart about God has demonstrated His goodness in your caregiving season.