Monday, February 25, 2013

It's All About the Response

A few days ago I began thinking about Cain and Able and how God warned Cain and tried to prepare him for success instead of failure. My real questions were not so much about Cain specifically, but more about why he was the one who received the warning about sin "crouching at the door." Why don't we see that God warned Adam and Eve about what was going to happen? Whey not warn Able that he was about to be attacked? He was the good one after all. So I went back to Genesis 4 and began reading it again.

In verses 3-5 we have a description of Cain and Able bringing their offerings to the Lord; Able's was accepted, Cain's was not. I'm thinking that verse 6 explains why Cain's was not accepted - Why are you so angry?  God asked of Cain. Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you and you must subdue it. (NLT) There are many points that we could look at but I just want to concentrate on one today. You will be accepted if you respond the right way...

I'll be the first to admit that my response to being thrust into full time caregiving has not always been "acceptable" nor appropriate. It was reasonable - anger is a normal response, fear is too. As caregivers we face many frustrating situations - usually every single day. It can be so easy to become discouraged, upset, frustrated and distraught. There are things that I simply cannot control; but how I respond to each situation can determine my success or failure for the day. I am the captain of my soul said one poet. Although there are many things that I do not have control over and many that I simply cannot change - I am in total control of my response to each circumstance that is presented in a day.

Today I will start evaluating my responses. Am I responding in faith? What is the first thing out of my mouth when something goes wrong? (You really do not want to know!) Cain's response was all wrong even though God gave him ample time to make the correction so that he could stay in right standing with God. How will we respond today to pain of any kind? How will we respond if aides or supplies do not show up? How do we respond when the day collapses around us and we feel like we cannot move or breathe? -- the opposite of Cain, of course!

We are furnace walkers - we must keep walking. Today I will meditate on how He is with me even in the furnace- so that I will not lose heart. And I will remind myself that He is faithful. When my response falls short of righteous - I'll go back to His faithfulness. I'll purposefully take myself out of the center of focus and concentrate on Him and His goodness...that's how I plan on making it through today....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Patience's Equivalence

This morning during my devotional time I came across this scripture in Proverbs 16:32. It says this: It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city. My thoughts stayed there for quite some time as I thought about how it is better to be patient than to have power. I thought about just patience itself and how in my caregiving role I feel like I am continually waiting on God; daily needing Him to act on my behalf. After several minutes of thinking about how important patience is to the caregiver I came to the conclusion that patience and waiting on God are equivalent. Honestly, I do not think I am a very patient person, yet caregiving requires it of me. But I never thought about being patient, to me it was more about not being able to change the situation and accepting it then doing the best I can with it each day. Right now I am thinking that this comes out to equal patience! lol

My mind immediately went to James 1:4. In the old KJV that I memorized in my youth it says this: but let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. The NASB uses the word "endurance" rather than patience. I was thinking that if patience and waiting on God are equivalents, then the first part of this verse in James could read: so let waiting on God have its perfect work...which means for caregivers that we simply wait some more. But  in the waiting we will become complete in Him.

Today my meditation will be on how I can keep my soul quiet before Him as I wait on Him; thus allowing Him to work His work in and through me as I function as a caregiver for His child.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You Want Me to Wait Quietly?

Back in my real ministry days I did a lot of teaching on waiting on God. As a worship leader I learned that I needed those quiet times to develop intimacy with Him. This morning I was looking at Psalm 62 which starts out with I wait quietly before God, for my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.(Pslam 62:1,2 NLT) In verses 5 and 6, David repeats almost the same thing except he says,  I wait quietly before God for my hope is in Him. I took some time to meditate on this.

Life sometimes throws us a curve and many times, for me it can seem that it disrupted what I was doing! My head can get very busy and move so fast through so many thoughts that sometimes I wonder if I have lost the capacity to be quiet before Him. But David seemed to be in a life or death situation as he penned this particular psalm and he made it a point to quiet himself before the One who could give hope and salvation.

Today, I purpose to quiet myself before the God of my salvation, my hope, fortress and strength. I will purposefully stop the chaos of my day to meditate on His goodness - this means that I cannot let my situation be overwhelming to me or the focus of my thoughts. If my situation has all of my thoughts and energy then I can lose hope, and strength can fail. So I will turn my thoughts back to Him today and allow Him to give me hope no matter how bleak the situation may seem.

Will you join me today in quietly waiting for Him?