Skip to main content

Outside the Cave

It seemed as though Philippians 2 was written just for me this morning even though Paul penned it years ago to Christians in very different circumstances. I found a few nuggets to think about today, and a couple of them stung just a bit.

I ended up thinking about verse 1 a lot more than the others because these can be very real questions for the caregiver. The NLT reads Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? any fellowship together in the Spirit?  And Paul goes on to talk to the believers at Philippi asking them why they are not getting along.

While my focus isn't on getting along with other believers, I did think about these questions as a caregiver. Obviously, believing in Him hasn't kept difficult times from visiting. Knowing Him didn't "protect" us from being caregivers, and it didn't keep us from having to face some very difficult situations in life. Just think about Job - his faith didn't protect him from terrible things happening; but it did carry him through it.

So, we may still be asking if there is comfort and encouragement in Him. I have to say, "Yes!" He may even pour out a little bit more on us caregivers from time to time, knowing that it takes a bit more for us to make it through - and that is His ultimate goal. We don't get to escape caregiving, losses, or the grief that might be accompanying it for many - but He will walk us through it.

Paul goes on in this verse to ask the Philippians if they have fellowship. And if they are tenderhearted and sympathetic with each other. I can say I've found most caregivers to be very sympathetic. Why wouldn't we be? We get it. We understand each other's struggles most of the time and are familiar with the heart wrenching duties as well as the intense blessings that come with taking care of a loved one.

But what Paul says later on in verses 3 and 4 stuck out to me today. The NLT says Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble; thinking of others better than yourself. Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Is he serious? I have enough going on - enough of my own concerns; like making it through the day with my sanity in tact!

It can be so "easy" to withdraw into our caregiver's cave and forget about the rest of the world. We really do have enough on our plate to take care of - but let's not get absorbed into our own world and forget there are other hurting people out there, other caregivers out there. There's lots of other people out there who are hurting. Can you think of one? Pray for them today.

Today I'm going to be aware that I am not alone in my pain. I will make a list of those I know of who are hurting and pray for them specifically today. I'll think about how He comforts me in my pain, how He encourages me to keep the faith; and I'll pray that they experience his comfort, encouragement and peace today too. Will you join me in this venture out of the cave?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

We Are His!

  Social isolation is real, for caregivers. Actually, most of us dealt with it LONG before the COVID pandemic. It was almost amusing, if it hadn't been so serious, to see people whining and crying about having to stay home and "miss" all the social interaction. I wrote a post welcoming them to our world. Many of us have lived a life of social isolation for years. Our "norm" just become more complicated during the pandemic.  I guess the aloneness is what made this scripture stand out in my private devotions this morning. It's a familiar passage, and yes, I was reading it because yesterday was Thanksgiving, and giving thanks was on my mind.  Psalm 100 is just five short verses and I really enjoy the New Living Translation, but any translation or paraphrase is good! Verse three is the one that stood out to me today. It says Acknowledge that He is God! He made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. I noticed, of course, that the caregiv

One Little Catch

  There always seems to be a catch doesn't there? I think as caregivers we find ourselves in spots with catches a lot! The things that should be simple to navigate or often complex due to caregiving responsibilities. simple things like going to grab a prescription that's ready or swing by the grocery store are much more difficult when you have to take into account the care of a loved one.  People may say, It's easy - just go - but by the time they get to the "go" part our minds are burdened with all it takes to just go. For me, it means clothing and transferring another whole human being! lol - There's no just  jumping in the car and heading out, right? It's opening and lowering the ramp - getting the chair in the van and situation properly. Then, getting all the buckles in place and secure before we can "just go." Sometimes God's answers seem to be complex too. In Psalm 50 verse 15, God says He will rescue us - all we have to do (just....) i

Caregiver Burnout is Real

  Do you ever just get too tired? Do you ever want to quit? Do you ever sit down for a whole 30 seconds and think about not getting back up? Ever? Who am I kidding? Sometimes I forget who I'm talking to. Lol. As caregivers, burnout is real. But the problem for most of us, is we don't get a break even in the midst of burnout, right? Let's face it. If we had a bit more help we might  avoid burnout - but once we feel that we are in a season of burnout and stressed out - there's still no help. It's easy to feel stuck. I try to do a few things to avoid burnout and to cope. Someone told me one time that I had learned how to live even in the midst of the situation. I think she was right. I have learned to slow down and enjoy an afternoon cup of tea (or coffee!!!). I try to get outside as much as possible because sunshine and fresh air are essential to a healthy life. Some days that means sitting on the patio so I can see Chris in the recliner through the window. But I'