One of the easiest elements of caregiving to let slide amid flurries of medical diagnoses, financial concerns, legal issues—is the element of spending love-filled quality time with our aging relatives. As our memories will attest, our parents—though aging—are more than care recipients, they are those with whom we’ve built relationships over the course of lifetimes.
So, as I spend some quality time with my mom today, I challenge you to just sit with your loved one, listen to her, talk about something other than age or disabilities. Just be together.
This is a concept that I believe translates well into our relationship with God and our dependence on His Spirit as we go about our caregiving lives. Listen to the closeness of relationship Paul describes regarding the believer and the Spirit of God Who lives within us:
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 8:26-27, NIV).
He’s so close that He searches our hearts. We don’t even need to form words to let Him know our needs, our exhaustion, our desperation, our utter dependence. He searches our hearts and recognizes our needs at the deepest levels. And He is the same one Who knows the heart of our loving Father toward us. So, He asks the Father for what we need most—and He does this in line with what He already knows to be the Father’s perfect will for us. And don’t think for a moment that our Father in Heaven won’t answer His own Spirit’s intercessory requests on our behalf with a resounding “Yes! Amen! Let it be done!”
This is quality relationship at its most amazing. The Triune God knows us. He is in us and with us and works through us. And, as we’ll discover soon (in Rom. 8:38-39) His love for us is beyond deterioration, division, or distraction. Nothing—not even the most grievous parts of caregiving—can separate us from His love, demonstrated most clearly in the gift of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Perhaps the lesson here, then, is not only to be careful to spend quality time with our aging loved ones at regular, planned intervals; but more importantly to plan quality time getting to know the One Who knows us so intimately.
May these thoughts be a blessing and a challenge to you today!
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