Although the entire chapter or book, is an awesome read, I focused on the last verses of chapter three this morning. I got stuck in verse 12 though.Paul says this: So, as those chosen of God, holy and beloved.... and that's where I stopped. I know there's tons of good stuff after that, but this was an excellent stop-and-meditate place.
We are chosen by Him. We are not an afterthought, we didn't get an okay, I guess you can come too - He chose us actually before He said, "Let there be light!" And once again in this passage we find absolutely no exclusionary statement about caregivers. He didn't say, "everyone except caregivers is chosen in the beloved." We are included!
Paul goes on to say we are also holy and beloved. Not just adequate. Not temporarily holy. He made us holy through the sacrifice of Christ. He did a thorough work - a complete work and all we have to do is choose to walk in it. He doesn't see our flub-ups, our mistakes, our doubtings, or even our ranting, raving or cussing. He sees us through the veil of Christ's righteousness, holy and complete in Him.
And lastly, but certainly not the least important - He calls us beloved. That's a lot more than just an I'm-going-go-put-up-with-you-because-I-have-to attitude. He dearly loves us. Caregivers too!
Then Paul goes on to say that since we are chosen, holy and beloved we are to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Now, there wasn't an exclusionary statement on being loved, holy or chosen - but there's also not one on the requirements put forth here. Just because we are caregivers doesn't mean we are exempt from God's requirements.
For caregivers, every day brings choices that can lead us to be hard-hearted or tender-hearted. One of my early concerns was that I didn't want to become cynical, critical and hard. That's the easy road really. Sometimes our load is so heavy it's difficult to have compassion for others. But when we let Him carry our load - it's easier to have compassion on others and help them ease their load. That may be a prayer, a card, a kind word, an offer to help in some way.
These are choices - since we are to put them on. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience are all for the putting on. It can be a different perspective for us as caregivers. Yet we have an understanding of what others are going through and see things from an emotional aspect others might not ever get.
Today, I'm going to meditate on being chosen, holy and beloved. I'll be thankful since I know I had absolutely nothing to do with any of those choices - He made them for me. My thoughts will be on how He loves and loves and loves, and on how He cares for me like I care for my son. I'm going to choose Him today, along with compassion and humility. I'm going to lean in to Him just a little bit closer today and thank Him for choosing me. Will you join me?