Care for the Caregiver
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. . . . [T]hose who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:29,31)
As I changed his diaper, my father looked up at me and whispered, “Funny how life has come full circle. Seems like yesterday I was changing you.” The ALS had taken its toll. Dad needed to be fed, bathed, and dressed. Daily. I was exhausted.
At the same time, my mom with Alzheimer’s often forgot who I was. One parent had a working brain and the other had a working body. Together they made a good pair. But I was a mess.
Often I would drive home in tears. “Lord, I need your help. I’m worn out. I feel like my parents are gone even though they are still here! And I miss them.”
My last memory of them together was watching them make their way to dinner at the nursing home. Dad pushed the button on his powered wheelchair with one hand and held my mom’s hand with the other. Before I knew it, they were gone.
They died three months apart.
Now I have friends in the throes of caretaking. In and out of hospitals, policing medicine cabinets, laundering soiled clothes. Those providing care are often the ones who need it most.
God understands better than anyone the pain of watching a loved one suffer. He understands exhaustion. He understands weariness. But He also asks, Do you trust Me with your loved one? Do you trust Me with your pain? He knows that selfless service makes us more like Christ.
God gives strength to the weary and power to the weak when we put our hope in Him (Isaiah 40:29-31). You may be taking care of an aging parent, a sick spouse or child, or a needy relative. But God promises to take care of you.
Perhaps you feel like I did, not wanting to let go. You still have a Heavenly Father, and you are His child. Maybe it’s time to take hold of His hand, and entrust yourself to the One who has always cared for you.
Dear Heavenly Father, I am reminded that Your power is made perfect in my weakness. Forgive me for believing I’m alone when You are here to comfort me.
I trust you with my pain. Thank you that Your love never dies. Amen.