One of the places in the Word where I go for comfort early and often is Romans 8. This whole chapter overflows with such beauty—such assurance. In its truths I've found resources I never knew I could tap.
For example, verse 21 assures us that we, along with all creation—and especially our ailing loved ones—will be liberated one day soon from bondage to decay. The aging process will one day be conquered by perfect health. Death will be overcome by life, rather than the other way around.
As we watch decay take the upper hand with our aging parents, what a comfort to have the absolute assurance that what we see isn’t the last word—Someone else has the last word, the Someone whose Father didn’t allow His body to decay in the grave, the Someone who rose and conquered death itself, the Someone Who now holds in His nail-scarred hands the keys of death, hell and the grave.
This is such a rich passage for caregivers, that I’d like us to focus on a couple more truths from its verses in the next few weeks.
Today, let’s look at our source of strength and comfort as we give ourselves away in caring for our aging loved ones.
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. Romans 8:25-27 (NIV)
Did you catch the phrase, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness”? The Spirit of God, Third Person of the Trinity, that Spirit—Comforter, Counselor, Friend—He recognizes our weakness, our exhaustion, our pain, our discouragement. And not only that, He comes in, rolls up His sleeves (as it were), gets into the middle of our struggles, and helps us. The HCSB translation puts it this way: “the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness.” NASB Greek Dictionary clarifies the long, compound Greek word Paul used when he wrote this. “To take hold with at the side, hence to take a share in, generally to help.”
So, treasured caregiver, today you need not feel alone. If there were only One Who could ever be on your side, at your side, shouldering the weight of the load along with you—you would want it to be this One—the Spirit of the Living God. Who better to search our hearts and help us in our most trying moments?
Next time we'll focus on His prayers for us. But for today, let's bask in the knowledge that His place is right where we are--right in the middle of it all--and He's lending His aid on our behalf. Draw strength right in this moment from the promise that the Spirit is helping you in your weakest hours. This is our hope—founded on solid ground. Take comfort from it.
Blessings and prayers,
© 2010, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: firstname.lastname@example.org