Seriously, I know we are still accountable - but it's like life is stacked against us. I'm speaking somewhat in jest - but does God really expect us to be patient? And then it's tested on a daily basis - aides don't come or call, supplies are on back order again, chair malfunctions, or our loved one is just cranky and we can't fix it. It all adds up and it can keep us on the edge all the time.
Love? Everyone? Personally, forgiving the young man who caused the wreck (and it was a true accident) is a daily thing sometimes. He virtually took my son away and yet it is my spiritual responsibility to forgive and restore. That's not easy - but it's do-able.
Then there's joy. Really? Yes. Because our joy is rooted in what He has done for us spiritually, we can still have it even in the most adverse circumstances. His is a joy that remains. His joy will carry us through.
If anyone is longsuffering though, it's the caregiver. We know how to stick with it even when sticking isn't fun or joyful. We won't give up on our loved ones because of the deep love we have for them. We will literally fight tooth and nail to protect them and get what they need. We'll stick with it no matter how long we have to, how much paperwork we get stuck filling out, or whose office we need to storm - all for our loved ones.
You know what's cool about all that? That's exactly how God feels about His kids. He sees us in our pain, in our inadequacies (whether perceived or real), in our frustrations, tiredness, and any other state we as caregivers find ourselves in. He still loves us. He still cares for us. He still carries us - even if we are fussing and cussing the whole way. (Yes, I have done that....)
In my mind I can see Him scooping me up in His arms while I'm still griping; and He just carries me along until I can stand and begin to make forward process once again. He is so patient, gentle and loving with us. Our fatigue doesn't scare Him. Our frustrations don't force Him to quit. His grace remains extended throughout our longest days and darkest nights. Our confusion doesn't baffle Him and He doesn't even condemn us for it. He just waits for us. He carries us when we need it. He knows us. He even knows when we lie about being tired.
Nahum 1:7 says this: The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him. He knows those of us who are quite alright with Him picking us up before we hit the ground. He knows those of us who are trusting in Him as our refuge. He knows those of us who are gonna gripe first, and snuggle in later. He picks us up when we call His name. He knows we are going to continue to trust Him. Even if we falter, get frustrated or feel like we are faithless He will carry us. We are never faithless - because He is faith-full; and we have Him. He has us.
Today I'm going to think about this visual of me in His arms. I will let Him carry me. I will let Him heal the deepest wounds life inflicts. My thoughts will be on His care for me. My meditations will be on His faithfulness. And in His faithful arms I will rest and trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?