Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Look to the Lord for Comfort

Unless they are currently providing care to a loved one with dementia themselves, other people can't understand what you are enduring as a caregiver. I say "currently," because God's grace allows memories of past pain to soften and dissipate like fog in the sun.  I look forward to that time for myself! But while we are in the throes of the unique pain of the terrible love and terrible grief of caring for a loved one who is slowly fading from view, other people are likely to misunderstand, even those closest to us.

It's always important to recognize the good intentions of others and not to be exacting with our responses and judgments; after all, these are the precious ones who have been steadfast to walk with us through our trials, and how much worse it would be if they had abandoned us altogether? But we must remember that our Lord is the only One who is able to understand and comfort us as we make our way through a journey that has stretched interminably.

This morning I found rich comfort in comparing Psalm 138:8 in a variety of translations. Each version reminds us that we are not forgotten, that God is with us in the midst of the trial of caregiving, and that He will bring us through.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands. ESV

 The Lord will work out his plans for my life—
    for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Don’t abandon me, for you made me. NLT

The Lord will vindicate me;
    your love, Lord, endures forever—
    do not abandon the works of your hands. NIV

 The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, 
O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. KJV

Here is a prayer for those in the midst of a caregiving journey today: Lord, fulfill Your purposes for us, don't forsake us, help us to bear the stress of grief and sorrow, and deliver us from it, in Jesus' Name we pray.

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