Saturday, June 25, 2011

God is So Good

Amidst all the hoopla surrounding our plans for our son's rapidly approaching July wedding, our family paused to celebrate my mother's 87th birthday yesterday.  At one point during the evening my daughter, Melinda, said, "Let's take a four generation photo, Mom."  And so we placed three-year-old Daniel on his great grandma's lap, I scrunched my aging knees into an excruciatingly uncomfortable position in order to move closer to my loved ones,and our son-in-law, Brian, snapped the photo. 

The result made me realize I've not been seeing the blessings God has placed right in front of me.  I've been indulging a "Woe is me I'm so busy and stressed" state of mind, Lord forgive me!  

So this is me saying, "Thank you Lord for my many blessings!"  

I'm inviting you to do the same today.  Just take a moment with me now and acknowledge that God is in control of the present, He knows the future; and that all will be well.  Let's pray together today for our eyes to be opened to the blessings the Lord has placed right in front of us. 

"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another" (John 1:16).

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17).

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Lord Doesn't Turn Away

Most of us learn early to hide emotions that make us appear weak in the eyes of our fellow human beings.   However, there is a hidden trap in the practice of constantly suppressing emotion, because grief and fear can't be completely contained.  The stress of an emotional event such as a wedding, a funeral, or even a Hallmark commercial will release that suppressed flow in an embarrassing tide.  Who hasn't seen a strong man completely dissolve into a tearful mass of quivering jello on the occasion of a beloved daughter's wedding? 

Other people are indeed made uncomfortable and will turn away from a display of weakness, but we do ourselves a grave disservice when we assume that the Lord feels the same unease or disgust toward our pain.  When we extend the skill of hiding emotion into our relationship with the Lord, we rob ourselves of partaking of His compassion and acceptance.

The Lord does not turn away.  He feels the pain with us and accepts us even as we fall on our knees in sorrow and fear. 

It is particularly important for caregivers to spend time in God's presence daily.  We must stay in His light until the deep wells of  frustration and underlying grief have been tapped, and then partake deeply of His solace through Scripture.  If any part of this process of purging and partaking is left undone, we not only rob ourselves of peace and strength; we rob our care recipients of a clean vessel through which the Lord can minister to their needs.   

Scripture:  "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise" (Psalm 51:17). 

Caregivers' Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for the reassurance that You do not reject or disapprove of my frustration and grief.  My heart is broken, and so daily I drag myself to Your throne, knowing that I’m a shaking, pitiful excuse for a child of God.  Thank You for Your compassion for my trembling and grief; thank You for helping me and not turning away.  Be in how others perceive me, and strengthen me so that others may partake of Your solace and strength through me.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.