I still believe that God does not cause these things to happen, but I also believe he does allow life to bring them. However, I also believe that He does not waste them. What I mean by that is that while we are in any of life's situations - He's going to use it.
1 Peter 5:10 says this: After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. Honestly, I'm not rejoicing over that when I first read it. I'd rather it said that God is going to look down and see us suffering and come riding in and pull us out of the fire, rescue us, save us and take away our pain. It didn't say that though.
While I don't think God rejoices when we go through struggles or trials, I do think He uses what life brings to form us. Our natural man may be going through the toughest days of our lives, but He is working on our spiritual man. There's nothing like caregiving to reveal our own character to us. Sometimes (many times) I don't like what I see...occasionally, I do.
Caregiving is one of those life events that pulls the best and the worst out of us. For me, it's helped pull out being able to stand up and say what I think. Unfortunately, sometimes this also means that a few unacceptable terms are used to express what I'm really feeling. (I'm working on that.) Just being honest here. Instead of God swooping us away, stopping the pain and grief and returning us to a "normal" life (whatever that is), He uses the situation we are in to temper us.
He perfects or matures us; and confirms, strengthens and establishes us. The New Living Translation says He will restore, support, strengthen and place you on a firm foundation. So even though sometimes it feels like caregiving is chipping away out our heart and life - God is in the background girding us up and working to strengthen our spirit man. Even though He isn't working to save our physical man - He's got us covered spiritually. In fact He's working overtime to see to it that we remain established and growing in Him.
Today I will meditate on the work He's doing in my heart, even though I don't see what He's doing all the time. My thoughts will be once again on how He put His Spirit in me - and that's what gives me strength to go on. (Eph 3:10) I will fight off the thoughts of abandonment with thoughts of how much attention He is giving to developing my character; and how He is still perfecting His image in me. Will you join me?