We really do seem to live in an alternate world from everyone else. On a daily basis we deal with all the normal stuff - and then our own set of what's normal. That might mean we have learned how to bolus a feeding through a tube, check 02 levels, take blood pressure, give a bed bath and change depends. But even though what we do daily looks a lot different from the rest of the world's normal day - spiritually we are no different at all.
This morning I was reading Proverbs 17:3 that says: The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart. On one hand I'd have to say that caregivers basically live in the furnace. And on the other hand, I still have to say we live in the furnace! (smile) Life is always trying, even on the best of days we deal with our own set of struggles. But God has no different requirements for us than anyone else. We don't get a get out of jail free card. There are no exemptions - He's still working in us to make us into His image.
Sometimes I find this frustrating - other times it's comforting. Why do we have to deal with all of this, and still let Him work out issues on faith, trust, and hope? Don't we deserve a break? And on the other hand, it's a comfort to know that He did not abandon us - but still has the same requirements and expectations He always had for our spirit man.
So even when we are up to our elbows in... whatever we are dealing with - He still is working in us. He still is turning up the fire to refine our faith. He is still working His good will and pleasure in us. His Holy Spirit is still in us - strengthening us - and building the relationship between us and Him. I'm not sure why, but that actually gives me hope and comfort.
Today I will look at the fiery furnace differently. My thoughts will be on how He uses it to refine me into His image and I will meditate on how He continues to mold me and work with me even in this situation. I'll think about His unchanging love, mercy, and faithfulness. I will let His spirit comfort me today as I move closer to Him in my heart. And I will rest - in the midst of the fire and depends....I chose to trust His care of me. Will you join me?