This week I've been in special prayer for two dear fellow-caregivers who are making the agonizing decisions about the best facilities where their ailing parents will get the care they desperately need. To make these choices in their parents' best interests, these loving caregivers need more wisdom, insight, calm, compassion, strength, tenacity, and assistance than they can get in human terms. But, as both are also long-time followers of Christ, they have the assurance that they are not alone, that through prayer and listening for God's direction they will find the resources they need so desperately.
The best news is that you, too, can have that same assurance.
(If you'd like more information about becoming a Christ-follower, click on this link http://joymediaservices.com/694/index.html that will take you to an article I wrote that explains how and why this can be the greatest decision of your life.)
Listen to the words Paul penned to bolster fellow sufferers in their times of most stringent battle:
Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, ⌊hostile⌋ powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! Romans 8:35-39 (HCSB)
Not even death--not even people or circumstances--not even illness or pain or grief--none of these things and nothing anywhere can separate us from the love of God. Drink in that awesome truth.
I've often wondered why Paul keyed in on the love attribute of God here. Why not, nothing can separate us from the power of God? or the wisdom of God? or the deliverance of God? While those are all true, there is something special about the agape love of God -- the love that gives itself away for the betterment of the beloved. The love that puts the needs of another ahead of its own comfort. That's the perfect and complete love from which nothing--not even the darkest day of caregiving--can ever separate us.
God the victor. God the destroyer of death, hell, and the grave. God the wise. God the all-powerful. Not only does He hold all these titles. But He holds them for our lives--all wrapped up in the package of His love. How much more comforting is it that the One Who is so mighty chooses to use that might on our behalf, in love, with our best interests (and those of our honored parents) in His heart of hearts?
So, fatigued and overwhelmed friend, draw courage and strength from the amazing love of God for you.
Yes, life is tragically difficult. But the One Who loves you perfectly is connected to you, next to you, yoked to you inseparably. He is pulling with you, and no one can change that.
Maybe your definition of "victorious through Him who loves you" doesn't look exactly like you thought it would today. But you can come through stronger and closer to Him and more convinced of His love for you today than you were yesterday.
Bask in the glory of this promise ...
With my love and prayers for you today,
© 2010, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: firstname.lastname@example.org