In 2008 I was perched to explore the world. I had gotten rid of everything, moved to Chicago and was scheduled to go to South Africa the following January with a Bible school. Those hopes and dreams faded after I received the phone call about my son's wreck. Instead of flying to Africa, I was headed back to Louisiana to be with my son. Although it was quite the process to work through- It doesn't feel like a sacrifice; it's just what needed to be done.
In Philippians 3:7-10 Paul talks about how he gave up everything to know Christ. Verse 10 states he was conformed to His death. As a caregiver we allow ourselves to "die" in order to provide for our loved ones. We give up something on some level to be able to do what we do to care for someone else. We are acquainted with sacrifice; and we look like Him.
Earlier in Philippians 2:6-7, Paul stated that Jesus emptied Himself He made Himself nothing, humbled Himself and became like us. Why? Hebrews 12:2 says that He did it for the joy set before Him. He did not consider the cross in His death - but He considered us.
While caregivers may or may not feel like we are sacrificing anything, there are times we realize we really lost our lives in the shuffle. As difficult as it is sometimes there is a joy and a satisfaction that comes from caring for a loved one. I'll be the first to stand up and say it is a difficult journey and a battle everyday. But I count that all as nothing because of the love for my son.
Jesus felt the same way about us. He willingly gave it all up and laid it all down and counted it as joy; not a sacrifice. When we lay down our lives to any extent for our loved ones, we look a lot like Him.
Today I will think about how great a love God has for us - that He prepared a way for us to get back to Him before He ever said, "Let there be light." I will meditate on what value He must place on us to love and care for us that much. I will smile today in light of His unsacrificial sacrifice and I will rejoice that He loves us as much as we love the ones we care for. Will you join me?