The pain was pretty intense and I wanted to stop because of it. This made me think of the caregiver quite a lot. Our entire situation can be filled with intense emotional pain. We have pretty much lost the life we knew to take care of a person we love. Emotions run in many directions from being saddened by our loved one's condition, to the loss of their mobility and independence and the loss of our own to all sorts of painful decisions that must be made almost daily. But like the marathon runner we just cannot stop for the pain.
I think the difference is that there is no finish line to run towards. It's never really settled, it just goes on. But we keep running anyway. Every day we get up and take care of our loved ones while many (or most) times not meeting our own needs...it's just part of the caregiving race. It can feel hopeless... but it's not.
God is the God of hope. We can gain peace from the truth that He has not left us to run this race alone, He is running it with us. I've always told my son I can't walk it for you but I can walk it with you. And somehow I feel God does the same for and with us.
This God of peace, comfort and joy is our God and He is traveling this painful road along with us. Romans 15:13 says May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. That's my prayer for the caregiver today - that He will fill us with hope to continue the race life has set before us...and I know He will! Rejoice in His hope today!